Last December, before Louisville played The Buzzsaw That Was Kentucky to a respectably close margin on New Year's Eve, and months before it won the Big East tournament and went to the Final Four, where it would match up with Kentucky well enough again, Cardinals freshman Chane Behanan delivered one of the truly bold quotes of the 2011-12 season: "We're the No. 1 team in the country in my eyes, and like I said, we're going undefeated. Point blank, period." Behanan may not have been correct, but you could hardly fault him for his confidence.
As the season went on, and Louisville lost a few games, and Behanan got into the routine of college hoops, he morphed from a brash freshman into one of the more open interviews in the country. Which is why it's a shame -- at least for those of us who write about the sport -- to learn Behanan will spend the entirety of the fall semester not speaking with the media. From the AP:
Louisville sophomore forward Chane Behanan must sit out the Cardinals' exhibition opener against Pikeville on Nov. 1 and is banned from talking with the media this semester.
Coach Rick Pitino said Sunday that Behanan was involved in some unspecified "incidents" this summer and was warned that another would lead to him missing games.
I'm never sure exactly how not allowing a player to speak to the media serves as punishment, because many players seem to like talking in the post-game scrum about as much as I enjoy doing laundry. (Hint: I hate doing laundry.) Though that's clearly not an issue in this case. Behanan seems to relish the attention, and perhaps Pitino knows all too well how much his sophomore will miss speaking to reporters after games. Or maybe he just doesn't want Behanan out there.
Whatever the reason, take note, fellow journalists. May I recommend sidling up to Gorgui Dieng? Because his interviews are pretty great, too.