Napier's Foot is UConn's Concern Again
Napier was driving on his ankle in second half
Napier was driving on his ankle in second half
UConnPlaybook.com Intern
Posted Feb 28, 2013


Shabazz Napier played a gritty game against Georgetown. After injuring his right foot early in the second half, he returned to the floor and discovered his shooting touch.

STORRS, Conn. - Adding insult to injury was given a deeper meaning in Connecticut Wednesday night.

As if losing 79-78 in double overtime to No. 7 Georgetown was not enough, UConn's Shabazz Napier injured his foot early into the second half, admittedly affecting his play for the rest of the game. Napier then entered the post game interviews with a protective boot on his right foot.

Napier said the boot is a precautionary measure.

"It's gonna get better, I just tweaked it," Napier said . "I tweaked my foot on a layup. It was affecting me, but I got in the game. I was trying to tough it out."

The play Napier is referring to happened early in the second half. As Napier scored on a layup with 19:20 to play in regulation, he stepped on the foot of Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins. Napier sat on the ground briefly, clutching his foot and wincing in pain before getting back up on his own will and running back down the court.

The layup was his first basket of the game after being held scoreless in the first half. Napier finished the night with 16 points.

"I don't know what's going on with the foot," coach Kevin Ollie said. "Hopefully he didn't aggravate it too bad where he can't play. I know he's gonna need some rest... He'll do his best to try to get ready to play in Cincinnati. We have a great training staff and I know he's gonna come through."

Napier was subbed out nearly two minutes after the injury for R.J. Evans with 17:33 remaining in the game. He received attention while on the bench and switched out his low-cut sneakers for a pair of higher-cut sneakers. He also placed his orthotics from his old sneakers into his new pair.

"Really nothing you can do to be honest," Napier said when asked about what he did on the sidelines for treatment. "You just gotta keep moving it during the game so there's nothing really you can do."

Napier reentered the game three minutes later. He played a total of 47 minutes, including the entirety of both overtime periods.

The injury is to his right foot, which is the same foot he received surgery on in September after fracturing it while playing for the Puerto Rican national team over the summer.

The heartbreak from the game might take longer to heal than Napier's foot.

"It takes multiple days," Napier said about getting over the loss to Georgetown. "Especially when you look at the tape and you already know the ending. It's disgusting to be honest. I don't even want to look at this tape. I think I didn't play so well, granted my foot was hurting, but I went out there and played as hard as I can. We was unable to get the win, so this one is always gonna hurt."

The severity of the injury is still unknown.

UConn plays again Saturday at Cincinnati. Napier will rest and participate in treatment.

"I know Bazz, how disciplined he is," Ollie said about Napier. "He's gonna do his treatment and try to be out there for Cincinnati at 12 o'clock on Saturday."


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