3-point shot: UConn players' decision easy
1. Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have decisions to make in a month. The UConn season will end without a postseason on March 9 after the Providence game due to the Academic Progress Rate penalty. Napier was asked about this following UConn's win against Cincinnati on Thursday. He doesn't have to say anything since he has time to make a decision. But here's the deal: Napier would get drafted, but there's no way to guarantee where, while Boatright has less of a chance, according to NBA personnel. I can't pretend to know their family situations. But there's no guarantee that the money would be beneficial enough to make it worth it, while leaving behind what they sacrificed this season. Napier and Boatright decided to stay put after the sanctions. They could have bolted. Instead, they were committed to UConn and Kevin Ollie. I have no vested interest here but just an observation: Wouldn't they want to return so they could play in the NCAAs in 2014 and challenge for the Big East regular-season title? That's a sure thing. The draft, collecting money and actually contributing in the NBA next season is not.
2. Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said he received a call from San Diego State coach Steve Fisher about possibly moving back a home-and-home series with the two schools, which was slated to start in Cincinnati. The reason? Fisher loaded up his nonconference schedule with the anticipation that the Aztecs were going to be in the Big West next season. But the Aztecs decided to stay put in the Mountain West and now have an overload of tougher games, so Fisher is trying to pull back a bit. Cronin is cool with moving the series back if he can get a quality home-and-home series to start at home in 2013-14. The problems in scheduling for San Diego State and Cincinnati are occurring at a number of Big East schools since they don't know exactly who will be in the conference in 2013-14 or 2014-15, although there is an assumption everyone will be settled in the fall of 2014.
3. The Big East is preparing to have 18 schools in the conference for 2013-14 -- before the seven Catholic-based schools leave to form their own conference in 2014 and Notre Dame and Louisville leave for the ACC and Rutgers for the Big Ten. Temple, Memphis, Central Florida, Houston and SMU are all coming next season while Syracuse and Pitt leave. The 2014-15 Big East could have 10 schools. Tulane is set to come in to be the ninth member, and, according to a source, there is a chance East Carolina joins as a full member for No. 10. Tulsa and UMass are the two most discussed possibilities of being the 11th full member.