Kane, Napier not looking for a one-on-one matchup


Then-senior guard DeAndre Kane attempts a layup during Iowa State’s 85-83 win over North Carolina on March 23, 2014, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Kane scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists.

Dean Berhow-Goll

On March 28, two of the best guards in the country will square off, but, in each of their minds, neither is looking at it as a game of one-on-one. 

Both DeAndre Kane and University of Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier enter March 28’s Sweet 16 game coming off of performances that pushed their respective teams into the round — Kane with a game-winning bucket and Napier scoring 25 points on an incredibly efficient 9-of-13 shooting from the field. 

“One guy can’t stop him, he’s really, really good,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “You talk about great clutch players, I don’t think there’s anybody in the college game that’s better than Shabazz Napier.”

UConn coach Kevin Ollie said nearly the same thing about Kane, saying they would need a collective effort to slow down Iowa State’s facilitator. 

“He’s a 6-foot-4 point guard that Fred puts on the post and posts up a lot,” Ollie said. “So we’re going to have to really, really load against him and have him see a lot of jerseys that say ‘Connecticut.’  It’s going to have to be ten eyes on him at all times.”

Kane comes into the game red-hot after flirting with a triple-double against North Carolina, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. 

Ollie said Napier would guard him at times, but the team would also be guarding the 6-foot-4 point guard who creates mismatches in the post and outside. 

“I think he’s definitely their motor, he gets them going,” Napier said. “That’s what great players do. I’m pretty sure that if we try our best and try to contain him, which is sometimes difficult, because he’s seen everything.”

No matter what the media says, Kane isn’t approaching this an opportunity to showcase himself for the next level by going one-on-one with one of the best guards in the country. 

Just as Ollie is approaching guarding him, Kane looks at the matchup as something the entire ISU rotation will have to keep track of, whether that be Kane guarding Napier or the young Monte Morris or Naz Long assigned to chase around the All-American. 

“Well, for me I’m not looking at it as a one‑and‑one matchup,” Kane said. “I know a lot of people [are]. He’s a leader out there. He makes big shots when they need it. He puts his team in great positions to win.

“But we’re going to do whatever we can to slow him down, slow him down in transition and we’ll take it from there.”