I don't believe in one-man teams in any sport, basketball included. But I do believe in letting superstars be superstars when it's time to win or lose a game, and that's why I hate the way Connecticut lost to Louisville on Saturday.
Jeremy Lamb took (and missed) the shot at the end of the first OT, and Shabazz Napier brought the ball up the court at the end of the second. Sure, Napier eventually found Kemba Walker, arguably the nation's best closer. But Napier got the ball to Walker late, and he had to launch a desperation 3-pointer. It almost went in, but it was still a bad shot that missed at the horn. So Louisville escaped Gampel Pavilion with a 79-78 win in double-overtime, and I couldn't help but think UConn is trying too hard to prove it's something more than the Big East's version of Jimmer and the Cougars.
Note to the Huskies: Don't forget what got you here.
It's nice that Lamb and Napier have developed into respectable sidekicks and possible future stars, but they're still sidekicks and this isn't the future. This is the present, and in the present (and the immediate future) you'd be wise to win or lose with the ball in Walker's hands. If the defense plays off of him, he should shoot. If the defense gets up on him, he should drive. If the defense doubles him, he should still shoot or still drive and make something happen.
In other words, regardless of the situation, Walker should have the ball when the game is on the line, and he should decide the outcome, for better or worse. Perhaps the Huskies will lose games when such is the case anyway. But they definitely lost when it wasn't the case Saturday, and that, quite simply, is no way to lose.