Don’t Look Now But Chane Behanan is Already ReinstatedPosted by Mike Lemaire on November 11th, 2013
In October, Louisville coach Rick Pitino held a press conference in which he announced the indefinite suspension of star forward Chane Behanan for violating university policy. Pitino explained the suspension by saying, “This is not about basketball. This is about Chane Behanan becoming the person I think he can become.” Well, apparently it took all of 25 days for Behanan to become that person, because this morning Pitino announced that Behanan was reinstated and could play tomorrow night when the Cardinals play Hofstra.
This announcement shouldn’t be all that surprising considering how quickly Behanan has managed to work his way back into Pitino’s good graces (being 6’6″ and really athletic helps). Behanan was back practicing with the team on Friday and was on the sideline in a suit for the team’s season-opening win against College of Charleston over the weekend. But it is somewhat surprising to see Behanan back this quickly for those of us who wondered whether Behanan was effectively done as a member of the team after Pitino announced his suspension. In retrospect, we should have expected Behanan would return sooner rather than later. The violations didn’t seem serious enough to tie Pitino’s hands and the Cardinals need Behanan in a big way if they are going to win the National Championship again this season. We should have known that Behanan would find his way back into a uniform eventually, but by bringing him back this quickly we have learned one thing about Pitino — he sure knows how to sound convincing when he wants to be.
Just listen to some of Pitino’s faux-tough talk:
“Chane Behanan is no longer a part of our basketball team.”
“Can Chane come back on the basketball team? It is possible. It’s not probable.”
“[The suspension] will be a long time. Under normal circumstances, you could see him before Christmas.”
“I don’t have a whole lot of confidence moving forward that he’s going to do the things we’ve asked him to do.”
Pitino said all of these things along with repeatedly mentioning the need for Behanan to step away from basketball and learn how to “prosper” as a person. It’s good to know that Behanan is such a quick learner. On the court this obviously makes Louisville even more formidable and only cements the Cardinals’ status as one of a handful of legitimate national title contenders. Behanan averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season and he should slide into a starting forward spot alongside Montrezl Harrell rather quickly. He is expected to be an all-conference performer and could very well establish himself as one of the two or three best big men in a conference that doesn’t have too many frontcourt stars.