UConn Survives, Advances over St. Joe's
Shabazz Napier had a game-high 24 points and a crucial seven straight UConn points in OT to keep his career alive. DeAndre Daniels had 18 points and Ryan Boatright was probably the Huskies' best player, with 17 points, four 3-pointers and one of the better assists we've seen all season for an Amida Brimah dunk.
But Brimah made the play of the game: A 3-point play with 39 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.
*** Best postgame exchange came during Kevin Ollie's presser. A reporter asked him how it felt to be the "first coach at UConn to win a tournament game since Dom Perno in '79."
Ollie's looked befuddled and responded: "Coach Calhoun won three national championships, so I think he won a couple of games in the tournament."
Reporter: "You're the first one other than Jim."
Ollie: "That sounds better. You were scaring me at first. Don't let Coach Calhoun hear that, either. It'll be hard."
(Incidentally, it was actually the first non-Calhoun-coached UConn tourney win since Dee Rowe over Hofstra on March 13, 1976. George Blaney's tourney wins count towards Calhoun's record).
*** In a touching story, Shabazz Napier put a heartfelt video message on YouTube last week for Wallingford's Connor Reed, a Sheehan High senior who was recently stricken by a rare, auto-immune disease.
Shabazz's message helps inspire Reed as he rehabs.
"I watch that video every day," he said.
Meanwhile, Reed's story of overcoming a debilitating disease (he's almost walking again) has inspired many -- including Napier himself.
Here's the video:
And here's the story.