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April 08, 2014

Kemba Walker on Shabazz Napier: 'Best point guard in college basketball'

843-r2KC2.St.156Much as you might expect, Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker was ecstatic over the success his former Connecticut teammate, Shabazz Napier, had in Monday night’s national championship game.

Napier played as a freshman on the team Walker led to the national championship in 2011. They are remarkably similar in physical stature – both 6-foot-1 and about 185 pounds. They both are extremely difficult to contain off the dribble in the pick-and-roll.

So Napier has come to be thought of as “Kemba 2.0.”

Napier finished off his college career with 22 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists against Kentucky. He made eight of 16 shots from the field and four of eight from 3-point range.

Walker had the highest praise for him at Bobcats practice Tuesday.

“There are always going to be comparisons, especially since I played with him. I’m happy for him,” Walker said. “He showed he’s the best point guard in college basketball right now. I don’t think there’s anybody better than him.”

The website nbadraft.net has Napier going 24th overall in the June draft, which could be the pick the Bobcats will get from the Portland Trail Blazers. Whether the Bobcats would prioritize another point guard with that pick and whether they’d want another point of such similar dimensions as Walker are open questions.

Walker had a big time Monday night watching the game with Bobcats teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who played for Kentucky. Since Connecticut won, Kidd-Gilchrist agreed to be photographed in a Huskies shirt, to Walker’s delight.

“I thought we were going to win from the beginning,” Walker said of Connecticut. “The way they ran the game, they were super intense. Big energy. I had faith in them.”

Posted by Observer Sports on April 8, 2014 at 03:50 PM | Permalink

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