Championships, Drugs, and Transfers: Louisville’s 2011 Recruiting Class

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rough couple of days for former Louisville basketball players. Early Wednesday morning, Chane Behanan was cited for possession of marijuana. Then early Thursday morning, Zach Price was arrested on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault and third-degree assault. This got me thinking about the 2011 recruiting class as a whole for the Louisville Cardinals. Also, I must give credit to my friends Chris Tingley and Hassan Mahdavi for bringing this idea to me so I could then expand on it.

Take a look at who is in that 2011 class. You have Chane Behanan, Kevin Ware, Wayne Blackshear, Zach Price, and Angel Nunez. One of those players is still on the team. Three of them have dealt with off the court issues. We haven’t heard anything coming from Spokane, Washington that gives any indication that Angel Nunez has been a problem.

The 2011 class was ranked 7th in the country by Rivals. com. For what it’s worth, the 2010 class with Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, and Elisha Justice was not ranked in the Top 25 on Rivals. Keep that in mind the next time you pay attention to recruiting rankings. The title of this post pretty much sums it up. This class won conference titles and the National Championship, have had off the court issues, and most have left the program.

Chane Behanan
David E. Klutho/SI

Chane Behanan was the starting power forward for the National Champion Louisville Cardinals in 2012-13. He came back to UofL for his junior season after debating on going pro or not. His off-season was filled with off the court issues, although nothing was ever made public. Some knew he was in some kind of trouble with Coach Pitino and the team. He was suspended indefinitely by Pitino but made his way back to the team. Then after the Kentucky game in December, he was kicked off for good. He enrolled at Colorado State and will be eligible to play there next season at the semester break. After his most recent trouble, we will see what happens there.

Kevin Ware was always on thin ice with Pitino since he got to UofL. There were little punishments here and there, random suspensions, but nothing too serious. If you follow the team closely, you knew something was up when Ware starting tweeting daily, since that is against team rules. He also stopped showing up on the bench for games. He had said it was too tough to be there and not play, but come on, you know better than that. Injured players are always still with the team. He also replied to a tweet that made you question some things if you saw it.

Kevin Ware

Hmm, so he had been 100% for a long time, but was sitting out because of a medical redshirt? I won’t go too far into it, but ok. Think what you want, but I said for the last few months that I didn’t think Kevin Ware would be back with the team, and now he is transferring.

Zach Price played for two seasons with the Cards before transferring to Missouri. While at Louisville, Price scored 32 points and grabbed 37 rebounds in his two years. In that time, he also picked up 41 fouls. So he had more fouls and points and rebounds. However, he may have just committed his biggest foul in Missouri. Here are some of the details from his arrest, and this is from the article on

Columbia Police Sergeant Joe Bernhard confirmed that Price was arrested at 2:31 a.m. at 3007 Troyer near the intersection of Green Meadows, but the incident that led to his arrest occurred at 1:17 a.m. in the “area of Stadium Boulevard,” according to the probable cause statement.

Price, 20, was involved in a dispute with a 23-year-old male roommate and 23-year-old Amanda Ackerburg and followed them to the area of Stadium Boulevard, blocked in their vehicle with his own vehicle, preventing them from leaving the area, according to the probable cause statement.

The statement said that Price exited the vehicle and struck one of the victims in the face with a closed fist. The other victim attempted to intervene and was pushed to the ground by Price.

One of the victims tried to spray Price with mace. Both victims were said to sustain minor injuries as a result of Price’s actions.

Angel Nunez played in 12 games for the Cards in his freshman season. He sat out the first 10 games of his sophomore season with a concussion before deciding to transfer to Gonzaga at the semester break. This past season, he had to sit out the first semester because of NCAA transfer rules. He became eligible on December 20, 2013. He averaged 3.5 points per game this season for the Zags. He scored a season high 13 points twice, once against Saint Mary’s and once against Portland. He only averaged 7.3 minutes per game so hopefully he gets more time in the future. I met Nunez once, and he was nothing but nice and very personable so I wish him the best.

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Wayne Blackshear came to Louisville with so much hype that a lot of people expected him to only be here for a year or two before going to the NBA. Now that I type this, it is ironic that of this whole class, Blackshear is the one that people thought would NOT be here at this time. Coach Pitino just said the other day that Wayne Blackshear is the only player in the last 4 years that has not made significant improvement. He said that Wayne needs to be a gym rat. I look for Blackshear to have a great senior season and really step up and be a leader. Either way, with the rest of the class that he came in with, it is good that he at least has a good head on his shoulders.



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