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Chane Behanan booted from Louisville men’s basketball team

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Louisville head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino announced on Dec. 30, that Chane Behanan will no longer be part of the team. Pitino also said that junior Kevin Ware may redshirt this season after re-injuring his right leg.

Behanan,who had been suspended by Pitino at the start of the season, was dismissed for violating school policy.

"He just did not do the right thing over and over and over," Pitino said.

The 6-6 junior has not been kicked out of school and could transfer or hire a trainer to get ready to play professionally according to Pitino.

Behanan averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 12 games this season for the ranked No. 14 Cardinals (11-2). Behanan was held scoreless, though he grabbed seven rebounds in Louiville’s 73-66 loss to then- No. 18 Kentucky

"I want to apologize for letting down my family, teammates, coaches, [athletic director] Tom Jurich, this university and the Louisville fans," Behanan said in a statement released by the university.

Behanan was suspended in the preseason and kicked out of the dorms, and Pitino made comments then that seemed to indicate the player would not return to the team. However, Behanan was reinstated and missed the season opener.

When asked Monday whether there was any chance Behanan could return again, Pitino said, "None that I can see. This is a university policy and has been stretched to the limits."

Behanan would have less than a season of eligibility remaining if he transferred.

So how will the Cardinals, who are thin upfront, replace Behanan?

Pitino basically has two options, either go young or go small.

“Our frontcourt, it’s obvious from the North Carolina as well as the Kentucky game, is the weak part of our basketball team right now,” Pitino said.

Louisville was outscored by North Carolina (52-26) and Kentucky (42-24) in the paint and was outrebounded in both games, both of them losses.

Louisville will now count on every member of the frontcourt to step to step up their game, starting with sophomore Montrezl Harrell. The 6-8 forward is playing out of position and is curtently averaging 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds a game. He is shooting 64.6 percent from the floor. He has posted one double-double and three double-digit rebound games as well as two-20 point game. But Harrell has been held to under double-digits in points four times this season.

Other frontcourt members the Cardinals will rely heavily on is freshman Mangock Mathiang leads the team in blocked shots, and senior Stephen Van Trease, who is one of the top rebounder's on the team. However, both are limited offensively. Freshman Akoy Agua can hold his own offensively and is a natural power forward, but he has sparingly – seeing just 38 minutes this season in eight games.

Pitino did not confirm that a decision had been made about whether Ware will redshirt, but sources told that coaches and Ware are leaning heavily in that direction.

"I think Kevin may be shut down for the year," Pitino said. "We're not 100 percent sure yet."

Ware suffered an injury to his right leg earlier this month. It's the same leg he broke in March when he landed awkwardly while playing against Duke in the Elite Eight.

NCAA rules state that a player qualifies for a medical redshirt if he plays in fewer than 30 percent of his team's games. The Cardinals have 31 games on the schedule this season. Ware had surgery, missed much of the preseason and made his return Nov. 15 against Cornell. He played in nine games before sitting out the past two after being kicked in his right leg during a victory against Missouri State.

Ware is averaging 1.7 points in 5.9 minutes of action.

Louisville begins American Athletic Conference when they travel to Central Florida on Dec. 31.



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