Say this for Chane Behanan: He doesn’t lack confidence.
The Louisville freshman served up one of the season’s ready-made sound bites after Saturday’s win against Memphis, which’ll certainly attract attention from in-state rival Kentucky and every Big East team.
Yes, he really did say “We’re the No. 1 team in the country in my eyes. .. We’re going undefeated. Point blank, period.”
Bold talk from a guy averaging less than 10 points a game? Absolutely. The 6-6 wing (who’s posted three double-doubles in 10 games) has shown flashes of living up to that kind of swagger this season, though it wasn’t against Memphis. Still, as Mike Rutherford writes, it’s hard for Louisville fans not to like his confidence and swagger.
Only question is if it’ll end up haunting him. Jeff Eisenberg had a good rundown of guys who’ve made similar predictions and how they fared:
Ex-Oregon standout Malik Hairston famously predicted he would “Carmelo-ize” the Ducks by taking them to the national title as a freshman. Former UCLA stars Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo both thought they could lead the Bruins to a Final Four as freshmen only to have that season end with a first-round NCAA loss. And Memphis’ Will Barton guaranteed a national championship to a group of boosters as a freshman but the Tigers barely made the NCAA tournament at all.
Louisville’s talented enough to make the Final Four and maybe even win it all. Unbeaten? Probably not. But I love that Behanan’s thinking big.
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.