Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Shabazz Napier wins AAC POY; Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick a Little Miffed

Looks like we've got a bit of drama on Friday night, if UConn and Cincinnati meet in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.

Shabazz Napier won AAC player of the year honors on Wednesday. He was second in the league in scoring (19.3), assists and free throw shooting (.877) and third in steals (1.8 per game). Heck, the 6-foot-1 guard even led the Huskies and was among the league leaders in rebounding (6.0 per game). He's the only UConn player ever to lead the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same season.

He's a truly deserving winner.

Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick was truly deserving, too. He led the league in scoring (20.9 ppg) and, like Napier, was a unanimous first-team all-AAC selection. But Kilpatrick didn't win, instead being bestowed with the league's Sportsmanship Award. It was also learned on Wednesday that Napier and Louisville's Russ Smith were first-team All-America selections, while Kilpatrick was second team.

Kilpatrick didn't seem too pleased about losing out on the player of the year honor:

Cincy coach Mick Cronin apparently was a bit miffed, too. In accepting the leagues coach of the year award, he mentioned that Kilpatrick was "my player of the year," and didn't mention Napier.

Meanwhile, Napier was extremely complimentary and thankful for his coaches and teammates after winning the award. Here's a brief excerpt of his acceptance speech:

And here's a little more:

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