Napier, UConn’s leading scorer, had played in 102 consecutive games before missing the game at Cincinnati last Saturday with a sprained right foot. For Napier, days off on Sunday and Monday, along with treatment and exercises may have helped some, but not enough.
“Shabazz was ruled out,” coach Kevin Ollie said.
He did some light activity with trainer James Doran during UConn’s shoot-around on Wednesday afternoon, but not basketball activities.
There is only one game left for UConn, against Providence at Gampel, which figures to be sold out or close to it, on Saturday. Perhaps Napier can be gotten ready for that game, but that seems doubtful. UConn medical staffers say there is “low risk” of more serious damage should Napier play on the foot, which was surgically repaired last summer.
During the game, which UConn lost 65-51, the injury news kept getting worse. Tyler Olander came out of the game early in the second half with a left foot injury. He tried to play with it and appeared to injure himself worse. He left the Sun Dome on crutches and will be evaluated back at Storrs, but it would seems doubtful that he will play on Saturday.
Omar Calhoun, who discarded the wrap from his sprained right wrist during the game at Cincinnati, was wearing it again Wednesday night. Calhoun, after going 1 for 14, came out of the game and said he was not sure he’d be able to “give it a go” on Saturday.
With Niels Giffey out for the season with a broken finger, the Huskies face the prospect of facing Providence, one of the better teams in the Big East the second haldf of the season, with four of their top six players unavailable.
Daniels chance to shine
The rash of injuries that has plagued UConn has put more scoring burden on DeAndre Daniels, who scored 25 against Georgetown, 18 at Cincinnati and 23 at South Florida, all losses. UConn had not had a double-double all season, but Daniels has had two in the past week.
“I think you’d be seeing it anyway from DeAndre if all those guys were healthy,” Ollie said. “Everybody was healthy against Georgetown and he got his first double-double of the season. I think his confidence is growing. It’s good for deandre anyway, I think his confidence is growing. This is going to give him an opportunity to put a little more pressure on himself, take on more of the scoring burden,go beyond himself. And he’s taking the challenge on.”
No Decision From Blaney
UConn assistant coach George Blaney, 73, is not yet ready to announce whether Saturday will be his last game. "I'm still on a day-to-day contract," he said. His son, Brian, is on the staff of Providence, the opponent at Gampel on Saturday. The Friars have been one of the better teams in the Big East over the latter part of the season. … UConn recruits Kentan Facey and Terrence Samuel were named to play in the Nike Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game, which will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 13. The game includes top talent from the Northeast and New York area. Facey and Samuel will be playing for the "home" squad in the game. … South Florida was expecting a better-than-usual crowd for the Huskies on Senior Night, with Toarlyn Fitzpatrick among those being honored. There were also a lot of UConn fans expected. … USF's newly refurbished Sun Dome features an updated set of league banners, including Central Florida, Houston and Temple. "The Catholic 7" banners are still up. … The Huskies added a new walk-on to the roster, Jevon Williams, a 6-foot-3 junior from East Hartford.