Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals appeared to be entering the 2013-14 season with a viable chance to repeat, a legitimate opportunity to do something that’s been done only twice in the last two decades.
I ranked the Cards at No. 2 entering the season, just behind rival Kentucky. But now that’s changed with the uncertainty surrounding Louisville’s starting power forward.
Pitino announced Thursday that Chane Behanan has been suspended indefinitely, and Pitino doesn’t anticipate that the undersized PF will return to the team anytime soon.
Behanan wasn’t an All-American, but his presence was invaluable due to his toughness, effectiveness on the glass, and experience (remember, he played key roles on two Final Four teams). The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder can score on the block, step out and make midrange jumpers and, most importantly, rebound.
“There’s no way we win the national title [last season] without him,” former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva told me moments after the news broke.
How will the Cardinals replace Behanan in the lineup this season?