Luke Hancock

Luke Hancock is hero in Louisville win over Syracuse, but Siva concerns remain

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On a day when Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan, and Wayne Blackshear combined to go 2-of-21 from the floor, including 1-of-14 from three-point range, Louisville needed another scorer Saturday at the Carrier Dome. The answer ended up being a 6-6 transfer from George Mason, junior Luke Hancock.

Hancock was 4-of-5 from three-point range off the bench for the Cardinals for 12 points, including two big three-pointers down the stretch as Louisville pulled away for a 58-53 victory Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

There has been no disagreement that Louisville’s offense can be stagnant at times this year. Saturday was no show of offensive firepower either. In the Big East tournament or NCAA tournament, a 36 percent shooting night could mean the difference between getting knocked out or advancing.

Much of that falls on the shoulders of Siva, whose improved play down the stretch last season was one of the main reasons the Cardinals were able to make a run to the Final Four.

There have been moments where he has shined, including 14 points and seven assists in a win over then-No. 25 Marquette. But he was also 1-of-6 from the floor and fouled out in Louisville’s five-overtime loss to Notre Dame and, added to Saturday’s performance, there should be at least some room for concern.

Which highlights the key word: consistency. With every game being an elimination game in the postseason, any one night when Siva struggles puts Louisville at an inherent disadvantage. When he is not either scoring or creating, we see the struggles ripple outward to Behanan, Blackshear, and others.

In a worst-case scenario, that could ultimately mean an early exit in March.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.