It's fitting that I'm lifting this concept from an unfinished and unused post about Montrezl Harrell's career after he left early for the NBA this spring: do we really want one-and-dones? It seems like we have been the second choice of about 25 5* guys over the past few years, many of whom went pro after a single season. The 365 day recruiting news cycle means that many fans are on a
first name twitter handle basis with the top high school kids before they even attend junior prom. The winning has helped, and there's a lot of optimism about the new coach being able to get us over the hump with the 5* guys, but ask any UofL fan the one thing they'd change about the basketball program and it would certainly be: we need to start landing one-and-dones. I'm guilty of this myself.
But do we really want one-and-dones? If Trez had left after this season, no one would have blamed him, but damn we would have missed him. And that was after 2 seasons!
I thought of this after seeing that Chane Behanan may not have made a summer league roster until the very last minute and will likely be heading to Europe or the NBDL. It feels like an ending of sorts to the Louisville Cardinals Chane Behanan Experience, and it's a shame. No matter how many dumb things Chane did (and while what he was accused of doing should 100% be legal and likely will be in the next 5 years at most, it's definitely dumb to keep violating the same rule and dumb for people around him to not let him) his career was amazing and should be celebrated and remembered fondly not for what might have been.
The reason the way this post started is fitting is because Trez and Chane's paths and careers are so intertwined - of all the what if's of 2014, the biggest has to be, what if Chane stays? What does that do to Trez's season and decision to leave early? What does that do to our season? What does that do to Chane's career path? So many what if's.
Because what else could we ask for from him?
I'm not sure how to approach this. If Peyton Siva is Cardinal basketball and Luke Hancock is what we want college basketball to be, where does Chane fit into the story? Sorta both right? He was a McDonalds All-American who was planning on staying 3 years and all he did was win games. He was an undersized 4 who improved over his career and played his best games in the biggest spotlight. But what made him able to do that was both his talent and a confidence that just managed to stay on the safe side of cocky until it didn't. And that more than anything may have been his downfall - whatever was going on off the court became too big of a problem and the Chane Behanan Experience collapsed upon itself. Just think of all of the craziness we went through in just 2* years? Imagine if he had stayed 2 more full years, both on and off the court?
My favorite (and I guess only) Chane story of the 2013 season was an early season game where he came out after halftime wearing a large bandage on his neck, the result of a scratch during battle in the first half. I texted with my brother about it and we tried to come up with a story about what happened at halftime that would be too crazy to believe, and basically we couldn't. My favorite one was that he got a neck tattoo during halftime. Rick's going over something on the white board, hears a noise and turns around and there's Chane in a chair with a giant bald guy working on his neck. Rick gives him a "Chane?!?" and Chane's like "It's cool coach P, he's just filling one in, he'll be done in a minute." My brother's favorite was that Trez accidentally bit him. Not like in anger, Trez just gets a little worked up and people sometimes get bit. Another theory was that Pitino stabbed him. Tell me you would not have believed that any of those actually happened?
To borrow from The Sports Guy (no link) we had basically entered the Chane Zone - is there any story about Chane that you would not believe? Good or bad or otherwise?
But there we go again, making it about Chane off the court. Not really fair. Maybe here's the best way to do this: I'm going to count down the top 10 On the Court Chane Moments of his 2 years, and then in the comments see if anyone can come up with 10 better on-the-court moments for any UofL player.
I mean, just watch this highlight video. All of the oops:
Here are my Top 10 Chane On-Court Moments:
10. Celebrating With Montrezl Harrell
Of all the memories (even though I was there, the videos of everything have overtaken the real life memories of the celebration) Trez sprinting towards Chane and lifting him up stands out among the most clear images.
9. Running the Floor Against Oregon
There were a couple of Chane Moments in this game, but that one was his best - look at where he is when he contests the shot and then where he ends up to get Siva's pass. Also just watch the whole video because honestly it's probably been awhile:
There was also a classic Chane dunk at the end. He also had a pretty memorable game against Duke two days later, but nothing on the court like this play.
8. 2012-3 Memphis Game
Maybe would have helped to have him against Memphis this season considering how well he played in this game. He had 22 points on 7-12 shooting and actually hit a 3. Trez played 31 minutes - and didn't hit a field goal, scoring only 3 points from the line. One of his best overall games as a Cardinal in a huge win where we overcame a 16 point deficit.
7. The Behind the Back Pass to Russ
An overall monster game for Chane, but the sequence starting at 2:26 was one of the more underrated moments of the championship season. What a play.
6. The UConn Game
In our first game as the #1 ranked team in the country, Peyton Siva had early foul trouble and Trez was sick. I'm a weird person, but if I ever get a chance to talk to Rick Pitino I will say 3 things: 1) do you read my blog? 2) How on earth could you blow the opportunity of a lifetime in 2014: naming a horse after Trez and not naming it Horsel and 3) Why did you react like this to Chane's pass at the 3:33 mark?
It's not really clear from the highlights but Chane had a monster game when we needed it: 16-9-5 with only 1 foul in 36 minutes.
5. Ohio Game Dunk
An early season, closer than expected game against a team that made a deep tournament run. A freshman playing in his 5th game. Still don't understand how he did this:
4. DePaul Day Dunk Of the Year
The final DePaul Day was a bittersweet game, and of course because it was DePaul Day, Chane Behanan had the consensus best dunk of anyone in college basketball in 2012-13. Here it is from 6 different angles in HD, in case you are into this sort of thing:
Ouch! - Indeed.
3. Steal and Dunk and Kiss Against UK
Maybe no play captured the Behanan Experience like this play.
2. For the Lead!
At about the 6:25 mark. This is a true freshman, Siva has fouled out, Russ is handling the ball like it's on fire, we've almost completed the comeback. The announcer calls it like it's the first half of a mid-December game. For. The. Lead.
1. The Last Basket of the Championship Season
It's at the 6:40 mark, unless you want to watch the whole thing again.
So if you are scoring at home, that's 1 National Championship, 2 Final Fours, 2 Big East Tournament championships, a #1 regular season ranking, none of which would have been possible without Chane Behanan, and countless dunks and big plays on the biggest stages against the top players in college basketball. Whatever might have been or whatever happened off the court we should be thankful and appreciate that. It is by any measure a spectacular career.
Thank you Chane Behanan. We will never forget you, that's for sure.