Round 1: #5 Shabazz Napier vs. #12 Brian Fair

Shabazz Napier vs. Brian Fair

#5 Shabazz Napier – (2010- )
by Peter Bard

I watched Shabazz play for about 90 seconds before I knew he was going to be one of my favorites. Reminiscent of a skinny Khalid El-Amin, Shabizness has a talent for doing the play the wrong way so confidently that it becomes right. Ill-advised three pointers early in the shot clock while protecting a lead? Absolutely. And he hits them.

Napier’s role in the legacy of the UConn Men’s Basketball team will probably go largely overlooked down the road. He’s probably going to end up playing most of his professional basketball in Europe, and guys like that don’t get remembered as much. But by sticking around with a team that was falling apart around him, Napier kept the team playing impressive basketball, leading vocally and by example. Care to gamble that Kevin Ollie’s first Husky team performs well-enough without Napier to get him a contract extension? If Ollie is the real deal (and it sure looks like he is), we’re going to have to wonder if we’ve got Napier to thank for it.

Career Points: 1239

Career Rebounds: 342

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Career Assists: 451

Career Steals: 178

Career Blocks: 17


1st Team Big East, 2012-2013
1,000 point club
Member of 2011 National Championship team
Just finished junior season

  #12 Brian Fair – (1991-1995)
by Peter Bard

Brian Fair could shoot. That’s really the only thing that needs to be said about Brian Fair. Jim Calhoun loved players like Brian Fair, even the ones named Albert Mouring or Rashad Anderson. Michael LeBlanc, less so. Some shooters have no conscience about shooting, and Brian Fair was one of those guys. Fair had his best season as a sophomore, starting 18 of 28 games and averaging almost 14 points, but he was best known for coming off the bench to deliver offense in a pinch. Fair’s career 41% success rate on three-point shots ranks fourth all-time in UConn history.

Career Points: 1130

Career Rebounds: 252

Career Assists: 122

Career Steals: 75

Career Blocks: 5


1,000 point club

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  1. Shabazz, for all his volatility on the court, will always hold a special place for me. Guy stuck with his team and his coach.

  2. Shabazz may end up being one of the 5 most important players in UConn history. He bridged the gap. All UConn fans owe him a HUGE thank you, unyielding support, and a special place in our hearts.

  3. Nick said it – those free throws sealed the game against Kentucky and led to the championship. Those earn him a special place and in my mind put him above those other certain players (who shall remain nameless) who missed big free throws in the tourney….

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