Missouri State v Louisville

Chane Behanan dismissed from Louisville, Kevin Ware likely to redshirt


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It started with a pair of cryptic tweets on Monday morning. Minutes later can the announcement that Rick Pitino will be addressing the media, and by then we were only waiting for the news to become official.

Chane Behanan has been kicked off of the Louisville basketball team.

“Unfortunately, [2013] is ending on a bad note for us personally,” head coach Rick Pitino said. “Chane Behanan has been dismissed by the university from our basketball team.”

Behanan has been in-and-out of trouble during his time as a Cardinal. He was suspended indefinitely earlier this season due to his off-the-court behavior.

“Away from the lines, he just did not do the right things over and over and over,” Pitino said. “The university has gone to bat for him, in giving him every opportunity to make it here. It’s come to a difficult detour in his road.”

It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for the Cardinals. “This has set our basketball team back immensely,” Pitino said. “A lot of changes have to be made and they have to be made on the fly as we just found out about this last night.” One of the biggest issues that the Louisville has had this season has been that they don’t have enough balance on the offensive end of the floor. Luke Hancock and Wayne Blackshear have been struggling shooting the ball from the perimeter, and the Cardinals have yet to establish a post presence.

Behanan was Louisville’s best low-post scorer. As good as Montrezl Harrell is, he’s not a guy that’s going to score with his back to the basket. Behanan was also one of their best rebounders at the power forward spot. This is a major blow, one that is more painful that just losing the 7.6 points and 6.3 boards he was averaging. Stephen Van Treese and Mangok Mathiang will see more minutes, as will freshman Akoy Agau.

Pitino also dropped another bombshell in this news conference, announcing that Kevin Ware was likely to redshirt this season. “I think he could be shut down, but I wouldn’t say that 100 percent,” Pitino said. “Ware is not a factor on our basketball team. We’ve been playing without him.”

Ware broke his leg in gruesome fashion in last season’s Elite 8, becoming one of the nation’s feel-good stories as he worked his way back during the offseason.

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.