This is part of a series previewing some key players in Saturday’s Kentucky-Louisville game.
Luke Hancock was the Most Valuable Player in last year’s Final Four, becoming the first non-starter to earn that honor in the 75-year history of the tournament. Hancock scored 20 points in the Final Four win over Wichita State, then 22 in the final game against Michigan.
This year, the 6-foot-6, 200-pounder out of Roanoke, Virginia who transferred to U of L from George Mason, has been hampered by a lingering Achilles injury. Hancock is averaging just 17.2 minutes per game after playing 22.4 minutes per game a year ago. His scoring average is down from 8.1 points last season to 7.8 this season.
Skewing the stats is a run of three bad shooting games. Hancock was one-of-eight from the floor in Louisville’s loss to North Carolina, two-of-nine in a win over Southern Miss and two-of-five in a win over Missouri-Kansas City. That’s a stretch of five-of-28 from the floor, including four-of-20 from three-point range.
Since then, the senior has made six of 15 shots over his last four games. He played just 13 minutes last Saturday against Florida International, but hit two of three shots, including one of two three-pointers.
He remains a deadly free throw shooter, making 87.8 percent of his attempts this season. Two of his five misses came at Florida International last Saturday when Hancock was two-of-four from the line.
In last year’s UK-U of L game, Hancock played 14 minutes and did not take a shot. He did have two assists and one rebound.
Photo of Luke Hancock vs. Michigan by AP
Here is a clip of Hancock making four threes in a row in last year’s title game.