Monday, August 15, 2011

Player Profile: Shabazz Napier

Looking Back: Napier adjusted well to Big East play and never looked overwhelmed, which is amazing for a freshman. He did have one of the best players in the country on his side, but it was his ability to handle the rock and move Walker over to the two guard spot that negated the double team. He showed tenacity and grit that was almost senior-like and was that spark off the bench that the team needed, earning him sixth man of the year, voted by the fans.

The Good: He has great ball handling skills and doesn’t get flustered in traffic. He has a tremendous first step and can knock down the three which is a deadly combination. He has all the tools to become one of the best point guards in the Big East and has the confidence in Calhoun to play through some of his mistakes. He is a great on the ball defender and can get into opponents head with his pressure defense.

The Bad:
He takes a lot of bad shots that aren’t in rhythm of the offense. He also settles too much for the outside shot when he could cause more havoc by driving lanes. He gets too aggressive on defense and allows his defender to slip by him too easily or picks up fouls twenty feet from the basket. He needs to find a happy medium to allow his aggression for steals but also not put too much pressure on the help behind him.

Looking Ahead:
Napier will have a lot more minutes to work with and it will be important for him to make the simple play. Without Walker to attract a lot of the defensive schemes, he will have to be more alert to mismatches and different defenses. He has total confidence from his coach that he should become a more productive and complete point guard in his second year.

(Video has swears in it)

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