Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier was named on Monday the most outstanding player of the NCAA tournament Final Four. He was joined on the team by Julius Randle of Kentucky and Connecticut’s Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels.
Meanwhile, though no teams from Los Angeles made it to this year’s title game, the Southland did provide some of the talent.
Connecticut second-year Coach Kevin Ollie claims North Texas as home but attended Crenshaw High. He starred at Connecticut and spent 13 years in the NBA before joining Jim Calhoun‘s coaching staff. Ollie was named Huskies coach after Calhoun retired in 2012.
Connecticut junior forward Daniels, who emerged as a star during his team’s title-game run, attended Woodland Hills Taft High.
Daniels had 20 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s semifinal win over Florida. He finished with eight points and six rebounds Monday.
“I just stopped putting too much pressure on myself,” Daniels said before Monday’s game. “You can’t put too much pressure on yourself because it makes it hard on you and you start playing bad.”
Hall of Fame
Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond, Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams led the 10-member Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 2014 class announced Monday.
Mourning played at Georgetown and was a seven-time NBA All-Star, while Richmond played at Kansas State and made six NBA All-Star teams. Richardson coached Arkansas to the 1994 NCAA title and Williams led Maryland to the title in 2002.
Out of action
Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein, as expected, did not play in the title game. Cauley-Stein suffered an ankle injury in the Wildcats’ regional win over Louisville. He missed Saturday’s semifinal win over Wisconsin.
“It’s tough, it’s heartbreaking,” he said Sunday. “The only thing I can really do is encourage the team and stay positive.”
Cauley-Stein was a key contributor for Kentucky this year, averaging 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.