Friday, March 1, 2013

Shabazz Napier a Game-Time Decision; UConn Talks About Catholic 7 Situation

Shabazz Napier didn’t practice Friday and is in a walking boot. He’ll be a game-time decision for Saturday’s 2 p.m. bout with Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena.

“I’ll try to do what’s best, not only for myself but for the team,” Napier said. “Hopefully, I’ll wake up feeling good. If I don’t, then I won’t play.”

Omar Calhoun also said he re-aggravated his right wrist in practice Friday. He said it’s more painful than it had been, but will be good to go vs. the Bearcats.

Then, there was the subject of the Catholic 7’s potential departure from the Big East next season – and taking the Big East name (and conference tourney at Madison Square Garden) with them.

Napier insisted he didn’t know about any of it, but realizes that losing the conference tourney at MSG would be a big blow – if not to him, than to incoming recruits.

“I’ve played in the Garden before, so it doesn’t really disappoint me too much. For the newcomers and freshmen, people coming up this year, probably. It might hurt. But for myself, I’ve played in the Garden before. It’s super-spectacular, as anyone should know.”

He added: “Madison Square Garden is the most attractive thing about the Big East.”

Ollie insisted he wasn’t worried about losing the Big East brand name.

“As long as I don’t lose Connecticut on my jersey, I’m fine,” he said. “We can play in my backyard. If I’ve got UConn Nation behind me, I’m fine … as long as they’re not taking away UConn, I don’t think they are, I’m ready to play.”

He was asked if that’s what he’ll sell to recruits.

“That’s all I got. That’s all I know. That’s what I’m gonna sell ‘til they put me in the grave. Unless my five-year contract’s gone, they want somebody else to coach, I’m gonna still sell. That’s all I ‘ve got to sell. I can’t control realignment, them leaving. I can control our attitude and the guys I put on the court, and their attitudes. That’s the only thing I’m fighting for at the end of the day.”

We’ll have some video up shortly.

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