When the University of Louisville has its Senior Day ceremony on Saturday before the Virginia game, Wayne Blackshear will be honored for his career at UofL. Junior Montrezl Harrell will also participate in the festivities because of the probability that he goes pro after this season. That isn’t uncommon. Francisco Garcia also did that as a junior.
So two players will be honored. That is slightly less than the number that it could have been, which is 6, and that does not include Harrell. That is just seniors only. If things had gone differently for some players at UofL, this Saturday’s Senior Day would have been much different. Who won’t be there that could have been?
*Chris Jones – Let’s start with the most recent. The legal stuff still has to play out with Jones, so we don’t really know what happened. But either way, he is off the team and would have obviously been apart of Senior Day this Saturday.
*Chane Behanan – Behanan was the starting power forward for the National Championship team in 2013 as a sophomore. He debated going pro, but came back for his junior season. He made it through about half of that before being kicked off the team for violating team rules. Chane was then going to go play at Colorado State, but never made it there. To my knowledge, he has played some in the NBA D-League and that is it.
*Kevin Ware – Ware always seemed to be on thin ice from the time he got to UofL. To me, the horrific injury that happened to him and made him an instant star across the country kind of covered that up for a while. The team went on to win the National Championship and “Win for Ware” was a popular slogan. After enough time passed, you got the sense that things still weren’t great between him and Pitino. During his junior season when he tried to come back for UofL and was “injured,” he would tweet all the time. No big deal right? It is if you know that players for Pitino never tweet because it is against the rules.
Then there was this. Someone asked Ware if he was close to 100%. They asked that because Ware was apparently sitting out because of a medical redshirt, meaning he was still too injured to play.
*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 than points and rebounds. Price was arrested in Missouri for an assault charge before ever playing a game and dismissed from the basketball program.
He transferred to Winthrop (I had no idea about that) but has not played at all this season. According to this release from Winthrop, Price was going to play pending a waiver from the NCAA. I assume that waiver was not granted.
*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. At Gonzaga last season, he averaged 3.5 points and 2 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game. This season he averaged 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per game.
I am pretty sure I saw a tweet recently saying that Nunez was going to transfer from Gonzaga after this season and still have one year left to play somewhere.
That is quite a difference in Senior Day ceremonies, huh? Had all of those players stayed, and had no off-the-court issues of course, who knows how different this team would look. There would likely be no Anas Mahmoud, so that kills the deal right there. Just scrap that idea.
When Coach Pitino talks about players acting like a “Louisville man,” you think of guys like Peyton Siva, Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, Luke Hancock, Taquan Dean, David Padgett, and guys like that. The players listed above that left the program do not fit that bill. So obviously it wouldn’t have worked out for them here in the long haul anyway. But it is just interesting to think about how differently this Senior Day could have been.
Chane Behanan was a key contributor to the Cards winning a National Championship. Because of that, I will always appreciate his efforts on the floor and wish him well of the floor. I wish all of those guys well of course. Most of them need all of the good luck off the court that they can get.
So one last brief look at what could have been the Senior class being honored on Saturday…
Wayne Blackshear – starter and captain for the Louisville Cardinals. Never heard of trouble with him at UofL.
Chris Jones – court hearing coming up for sexual assault.
Chane Behanan – trying to find a basketball career in the NBA D-League.
Kevin Ware – playing for Georgia State.
Zach Price – apparently apart of Winthrop’s basketball program after being arrested at Missouri.
Angel Nunez – two less than stellar years at Gonzaga, possibly going somewhere else next.
It will be a very different group on Saturday. But one that I would think that all the fans can get behind and be proud of. If they have made it this far in their career at UofL, that is something worth celebrating.
Go Cards…Go Krogering!