Saturday, December 29, 2012
Behanan's game speaks for itself
By Myron Medcalf
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The sight of a 6-foot-6, 250-pound man elevating as he attempts to rip a rim off its foundation is stunning.
The size-to-glide ratio is uneven. The backboard's survival is surprising. It's an assault that emits a vociferous clang as the cylinder is violently snatched before it ricochets back into place -- a sound fans frequently heard Saturday when Chane Behanan entered the paint.
That noise was one of the few that Rick Pitino allowed Behanan to make for two months. In October, he banned the sophomore from media appearances for unstated reasons.
That ban was lifted after Behanan's effort in an 80-77 victory over archrival Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center.
"They took the ban off of me, and it feels wonderful. I had to humble myself and just come back to earth," said Behanan, who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. "Knowing Gorgui [Dieng] wasn't going to play a lot of minutes today, I just had to be the aggressor as far as the big men goes. And with [Montrezl Harrell] coming off the bench, a freshman, he's really not used to all of this, playing big rivals. I just had to set the tone for us and get the [win]."
Russ Smith finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, and his jukes and drives helped the Cardinals preserve their win over a UK team that found religion in the second half and nearly pulled off the upset.