Chane Behanan is back...officially.
During his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Rick Pitino announced that Behanan would dress for the team's game against Hofstra Tuesday night, and that he could see the court. Behanan returned to practice for the first time last Friday after being suspended indefinitely back on Oct. 17.
"I had a target of 30 straight days of him doing the right thing," Pitino said. "To be honest with you I didn't think he would ever do it. I thought it would be more like, he'd screw up and push it back a day, and push it back a day. Well, he screwed up the first two days and then had another great 30 days. He surprised the heck out of me because he has a very difficult schedule he has to adhere to."
Pitino noted that Behanan would continue to adhere to that same schedule for the rest of the season. The junior forward was forced to move out of Minardi Hall last month, and will not move back in with the rest of his teammates for at least the rest of the semester.
When the suspension was originally announced, Pitino stated that it was "possible, but not probable" that Behanan would even rejoin the team this season. At the very least, the two-year starter wasn't expected to see the court until December. His coach says that timetable was the product of the doubt he had in Behanan.
"I didn't think he could do what we put forward," Pitino said. "Physically, mentally, emotionally; I didn't think he could do it. Getting himself up early in the morning and getting through every single thing we put him through, including community service. I didn't think he could do it. It just restored what I thought of him, because the first two days he messed up. He's surprised all of us."
Standard early season Louisville basketball. You just have to embrace it.