Without Chane Behanan, tough to see Cards repeating

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If you missed it, Louisville announced today that junior forward Chane Behanan has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of university rules.

Rick Pitino said it was possible but not probable that Behanan will return to the team. History suggests it is important to take with a grain of salt anything Pitino says with regards to time and a player’s absence. Rick has been known to say that a player is out for a significant length of time and the player would return the next game.

But let’s say Behanan is gone for the season, what sort of blow is this to U of L’s chances of repeating as national champs?

Without Behanan, I don’t see a U of L repeat.

The junior-to-be is a glass-eater who has averaged 9.6 points and seven rebounds over his Louisville career. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds in U of L’s win over Michigan in last April’s national title game.

He scored 11 of those points in the second half — nine in the first eight minutes — as Louisville took control of the game after being down by as many as 10 points in the first half.

“When the chips are down, things don’t go well, that young man rises to a new level,” said Pitino after the title game. “He was a monster tonight.”

True, the Cards have one of the nation’s best returning forwards in Montrezl Harrell, a player on the cusp of a breakout season, but minus departed center Gorgui Dieng, they need Behanan’s rebounding.

Will they get him back? Let’s hope so. No one has said that Behanan is a bad kid and, if he gets his head straight, he has the talent to play at the next level. No one wants to see a kid throw away his future.

The guess here is that Behanan will be back.

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Louisville’s basketball schedule for 2013-14

 

Hat tip Card Chronicle

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