Today’s announcement marked the third time Napier has earned First Team All-America honors this season. He was named a first team All-American by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association earlier this month after leading the Huskies to a 24-7 regular season record and a berth in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The UConn guard has led Connecticut in points (18.1), rebounds (5.9) assists (4.9) and steals (1.7) this season, and he was named the East Regional’s Most Outstanding Player this weekend after tallying 93 points through four games of NCAA Tournament, good for the second highest total among all players. Napier and the Huskies will face top-seeded Florida in the Final Four on Saturday after UConn knocked off fourth-seeded Michigan State, 60-54, on Sunday behind 25 points from the senior guard. Connecticut was the last team to beat Florida this season, defeating the Gators, 65-64, at Gampel Pavilion on a Napier buzzer-beater.
Napier was joined on the first team by Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott, Louisville senior guard Russ Smith, Cincinnati senior guard Sean Kilpatrick and Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker. Napier beat out Smith and Kilpatrick for Player of the Year honors in the American Athletic Conference, which became the first league to have three players be named AP first team All-Americans since the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2001-02.
Connecticut’s game against Florida is set to tip off in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 6:09 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on TBS and it can be heard on the UConn IMG Radio Network.
2014 AP All-American First Team
Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6-8, 225, Senior, Forward, Ames, Iowa
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, 6-1, 180, Senior, Guard, Roxbury, Mass.
Jabari Parker, Duke, 6-8, 235, Freshman, Forward, Chicago, Ill.
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, 6-4, 210, Senior, Guard, Yonkers, N.Y.
Russ Smith, Louisville, 6-0, 165, Senior, Guard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
photo credit: brad horrigan – hartford courant