The hot topic was who was going to win American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
In the end, the conference coaches chose the player who leads his team in everything.
UConn's Shabazz Napier was named POY in the AAC, edging out Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick and Louisville's Russ Smith.
Napier is a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and is on the final watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Naismith Trophy, the Senior CLASS Award and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.is second in the conference in scoring, assists and free throw shooting (.877) and is third in The American in steals at 1.8 per game. Napier averaged 19.3 points in conference games as he led UConn to a 12-5 finish in The American and a 24-6 overall record.
Coach of the Year went to Mick Cronin.
Out in Memphis, colleague Neill Ostrout talked with Napier and Sean Kilpatrick and others about the award. Here's Ostrout with Napier
“For me to be in this position it’s a tribute to who she is and how she raised me,” Napier said to Ostrout.What was Kilpatrick's reaction?
About his teammates, Napier said he wished he could break the award into 15 pieces.
“Without my guys, I’m nothing,” Napier said.
“When all the numbers do line up and it doesn’t go your way, of course there’s some type of disappointment. But you have to use it as motivation to keep going,” Kilpatrick said.2014 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Honors
“It’s going to be 20 times worse for a lot of people now,” Kilpatrick said.
Player of the YearShabazz Napier, G, UConn
Coach of the YearMick Cronin, Cincinnati
Rookie of the YearAustin Nichols, F, Memphis
Scholar-Athlete of the YearJimmy McDonnell, F, Temple
Defensive Player of the YearJustin Jackson, F, Cincinnati
Sixth Man of the YearMichael Dixon Jr., G, Memphis
Most Improved PlayerMontrezl Harrell, F, Louisville
Sportsmanship AwardSean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati