Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Morning Wood: My awesomeness is why UConn is in the Final Four


Sure my back hurts. But that’s what I get for putting Connecticut on my back and carrying the team – and the entire school – to another Final Four.

But let’s not act like this is something new. After all, I already have a National Championship ring from back in 2010-11 when we went all the way, knocking off Butler in the championship game.

And as you might remember, there was a pretty good player on that team named Kemba Walker, who did very similar things that I’m currently doing now. Let’s just say that I had some good teaching after seeing his performance that year, not only in the NCAA Tournament, but also in the Big East Tournament.

But what Walker did, I’m out to obliterate it. When crunch time hits, I step up for my team, as was the case when I dropped 25 points against Michigan State in the Elite Eight.

“He’s a special player,” Walker said via text message. “Sure, I had my moment in the spotlight, but, man, I can only wish my performance was half as good as what Shabazz is doing right now. Dude is straight ballin’!”

Of course, with this type of performance comes a lot of expectations. We entered as a disrespected No. 7 seed in the Tournament and weren’t even expected to win a game. But because of my heroics, now people are thinking we can go all the way.

Not to mention, we’re once again carrying the torch for New England basketball.

I mean, look at it. Boston College was HORRIBLE, Massachusetts was a nice story, but was it really a six-seed? And Harvard, well that was cute while it lasted, everyone thinking that it was going to go on another little run.

But here we are, two games away from another title and the only school from New England not having to deal with the miserable weather because we’re in Texas.

Obviously, Florida isn’t going to be some pushover game like the Spartans were. The Gators earned the No. 1 seed for a reason. Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young and Michael Frazier II can play some ball, but can they play as well as me? I’ll let Saturday’s game answer that for you.

I think a lot of my drive and motivation to carry us this year came from our coach Kevin Ollie. He’s a scary man and when you don’t play well, he lets you know it.

“I told Shabazz that if he doesn’t lead us to the national title, then he’s getting a five-finger slap across the face,” Ollie said. “Just ask Terrance Samuel how my palm tastes. Shabazz doesn’t want to feel that pain.”

No I don’t and I won’t let it happen because in one week, when I’m the biggest name in Stoors, Conn., it’s going to be because I led this program to its fourth National Championship.


Shabazz Napier can’t be reached because he’s in Texas getting ready to win the National Championship.

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