Coach Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals put on a full-court press over the weekend to land a fourth big-time prospect for their 2011 class. On Monday, the Cardinals' mission was accomplished when four-star, in-state power forward Chane Behanan (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green) committed to Louisville after visiting the campus. He picked the Cardinals over Ohio State, Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas.
"I felt in a great comfort zone there with the coaches and players," Behanan said. "Plus, Louisville is close to Cincinnati, where my family is originally from, and Bowling Green, so everyone can come watch me play."
Behanan recently jumped up to No. 32 from No. 72 in the latest ESPN Recruiting rankings and was even named MVP of the NBA Top 100 camp, which took place in June. The 6-foot-7, 230-pounder is an undersized power forward that is strong, physical and plays with a lot of energy. Behanan's physical style of play allows him to score inside through contact or outside, where he is comfortable shooting out to 18 feet and is even capable of hitting 3-pointers. He is a tenacious rebounder on both ends, often turning offensive rebounds into baskets, and he can also make plays off the dribble, which makes him a true matchup nightmare.
"He has dominated in high school thanks to his size, athleticism and skill set. Chane even had nine triple-doubles last season," said Bowling Green High School coach D.G. Sherrill. "He is also a tremendous kid off the court and is very coachable."
Behanan, who draws comparisons to Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis and former NBA player Gary Trent, will join fellow four-star prospects shooting guard Wayne Blackshear (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park), center Zach Price (Louisville, Ky./Jeffersontown) and small forward Ryan Taylor (Louisville, Ky./Western) in Pitino's 2011 class. Behanan adds even more size to the Cardinals and takes their class to another level. The No. 1-ranked prospect from Kentucky will have an instant impact in the Big East thanks to his motor, skill set and versatility. He is a tremendous in-state get for Pitino because he is a good fit in the Cardinals' full-court, pressing system. Behanan will play on the back line of the zone and cause matchup problems on offense.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.