Sunday, January 20, 2013

UConn Preparing for Potential Life Without Boat and Bazz Next Season

Yes, it's a bit early -- but not too early to start thinking about the NBA draft and whether or not Shabazz Napier and/or Ryan Boatright intend on entering. Players will tell you it's the furthest thing from their minds right now, but it's only common sense (and human nature) for kids with the potential to earn millions to have at least an eye on the future.

“I never think about it,” Napier insisted to me after Saturday's game. “That’s one thing, I stay humble, I don’t think about what’s in the future, I just think about what’s now.”

Interestingly, in regard to players thinking about their NBA future, he added: “We had that problem last year, and we don’t need it this year.”

Here's my story on Boat and Bazz's future. If both stay in Storrs next season, as the consensus seems to believe they should, the Huskies could be pretty special, and they could boost their stock. If they decide to leave, UConn could have some problems -- even with Terrence Samuel, whom Glen Miller likens to Pitt's James Robinson, in the fold, and with one point guard from Kentucky (via Canada) practically begging to be a Husky.

I asked an Eastern Conference scout recently about Boatright, and he said the kid's not ready for the NBA yet, but he loves his speed and thinks he could be a lottery pick someday if he sticks around Storrs.

For today's story, I talked to a Western Conference scout about both players, and here's fully what he had to say:

(on Napier)
“He’s got a little toughness about him, decent point guard skills. He likes to shoot, but that's not so bad anymore, because they play zones in the league now, they want their point guards to score a little bit. He's the kinda guy I wouldn’t count him out, but don’t think anybody’s gonna go crazy over him.”

"He's probably anywhere from mid-second round to not drafted. People are always looking for point guards. The odds are teams will wait to see if he slides through the draft. At that point, it's better for the players. A number of teams will want to bring him into summer leagues, so he's in a little more control of trhe process."

(on Boatright)

"For me, personally, he’s tough to like. He’s got the lethal traits of being (not smart with the ball) and selfish. When I first saw him I got excited, because he's got big-time quicknees. Maybe he’s reformed himself. A couple of times (he had a guy open and) he had to see the guy, but he's one of those moody little point guards who decide who they're going to pass to. I just hate that. You remember that as a player. You should make that play because it's the right play."

(on Boatright's small size)

"There are some small guys, and he does have big-time quickness. He’s not my cup of tea, but there may be somebody who thinks he’s got X-factor quickness ... and could be that catalyst type of guy. It's an 82-game schedule, things are going to happen to you, one way or another."

"I think it’s a mistake for both of them (to declare). The kid from Villanova (Maalik Wayns) lucked out. He probably thought he was gonna be drafted, he didn’t get drafted at all, and he's on end of bench with Philly (actually, Wayns' 10-day contract with the 76ers just expired, and he wasn't re-signed). I just don’t think you leave school, even for the second round. But I know the pressure these kids are under. They’re AAU guys, whoever they’re hanging around with, go home to, it’s like a red badge of courage that you’re going to be in the draft."

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Blogger MikeMC said...

I fully agree with the assessments and think it's ridiculous that either would leave UCONN. I think they're both selfish. Many times I've seen Giffey and Calhoun open in the corners after running from side to side get open...and Boatright is too busy dribbling around to see them, or if he does, he ignores them Neither of these guys have Kemba's talent and are two self-centered. Maybe the reason that the "bigs" don't shoot much is because their guards don't reward them with the ball.

January 20, 2013 at 8:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I've heard it all. Our low-major quality bigs don't get enough shots because the only two guys who would sniff the court on a good UConn team don't get them the ball. Good stuff Mike.

January 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM 
Blogger July3 said...

Both anonymous and Mike have it right. Our big men lack game and our guards are selfish at times. Our guards need to develop better chemistry with the bigs. This will go a long way toward increasing their confidence. The reality is that the guards have skill and scoring ability. At this point they are much more reliable than the bigs as well as the small forwards.

January 21, 2013 at 12:44 PM 

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