UConn basketball captain Shabazz Napier says the return of coach Jim Calhoun next year would send a strong message to players who have decided to stay in Storrs despite being barred from the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Napier and five teammates represented the program at the state Capitol's annual Husky Day on Thursday. Calhoun was not in attendance. Five underclassmen have announced plans to transfer or enter the NBA draft.
Napier told The Associated Press that he believes coach Calhoun doesn't want to leave the program with a bad ending, and is loyal to his players.
Napier says he's also hopeful that the NCAA will revisit its Academic Progress Rate this summer and allow UConn to use its most recent scores, which would allow the Huskies to qualify for the tournament.