ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has named UConn senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) its District I Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Junior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) was also honored by the USBWA as he joined Napier on the 10-player All-District I Team. The USBWA divides the country into nine districts. Each with its own Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and All-District Team. District I includes all the Division I schools in New England.
Both Napier and Boatright earned the same awards from the USBWA last season.
Napier, who was also named a unanimous American Athletic Conference All-Conference first-team pick on Tuesday, led UConn to a 24-7 season and a place in the Top 25 polls. The 6-1 guard topped the Huskies in scoring (17.8), rebounding (6.0), and assists (5.2), the only player in UConn history to lead in all three categories. He shot 42.6 percent overall and 40.4 percent from three-point range. He ranks seventh on UConn’s all-time scoring list with 1,790 points, fourth in assists with 611, and second in steals with 235. He had six double-doubles this year, including a triple-double against Yale.
Boatright was second only to Napier in minutes played this season for the Huskies. He was third on the team in scoring (12.0) and second in assists (3.5) and steals (1.57). He scored double figures in 19 games this season. He combined with Napier to give the Huskies one of the most explosive backcourts in the country.
The remainder of the All-District I Team included Ike Azotam (Quinnipiac), Bryce Cotton (Providence), Alex Francis (Bryant), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Clancy Rugg (Vermont), Wesley Saunders (Harvard), Maurice Watson (Boston University), and Chaz Williams (Massachusetts). Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg was named the District I Coach of the Year.
DISTRICT PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
I: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
II: C.J. Fair, Syracuse
III: Jabari Parker, Duke
IV: Russ Smith, Louisville
V: Nik Stauskas, Michigan
VI: Doug McDermott, Creighton
VII: Cory Jefferson, Baylor
VIII: Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico
IX: Nick Johnson, Arizona
DISTRICT COACHES OF THE YEAR
I: Derek Kellogg, Massachusetts
II: Jay Wright, Villanova
III: Tony Bennett, Virginia
IV: Billy Donovan, Florida
V: John Beilein, Michigan
VI: Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
VII: Larry Brown, SMU
VIII: Craig Neal, New Mexico
IX: Sean Miller, Arizona