Louisville announces three signees

Three impressive high school products have each signed a national letter-of-intent to continue their basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville, ranking this Cardinal group among the nation's top recruiting classes.

Three impressive high school products have each signed a national letter-of-intent to continue their basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville, ranking this Cardinal group among the nation's top recruiting classes.

The list of stellar signees includes: Chane Behanan, a 6-7, 250-pound forward from Bowling Green (Ky.) High School; Wayne Blackshear, a 6-5, 205-pound guard from Morgan Park High School in Chicago; Mass.; and Zach Price, a 6-10, 230-pound center from Jeffersontown High School in Louisville, Ky.

With all three members of the group ranked among the top 50 in the nation, the Cardinals' recruiting class is currently ranked fifth by ESPN.com, sixth by Scout.com and seventh nationally by Rivals.com.

"This is one of the better recruiting classes we have had in quite some time," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "All of the players in this class will make major strides. They're already great high school players, but they have tremendous upside to get better physically, mentally and with their skills on the court."

Chane Behanan

Behanan averaged 21.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game as a junior at Bowling Green last year, a season in which he recorded nine triple-doubles and dished out 14 assists in one contest. The Purples fell to Warren Central in double overtime, 63-58, in the 2010 Fourth Region title game.

Chane Behanan
"Chane reminds me so much of Rodney McCray," said Pitino. "He has good size, is a great leaper and ball handler and is tough. He's just an extraordinary basketball player with great skills. The sky's the limit for his potential. He'll get better and better as he faces Big East competition."

A first-team Associated Press All-State selection as a junior, Behanan is ranked No. 32 nationally in the ESPN 100, 23rd by Rivals.com, No. 16 by USA Today recruiting analyst Rob Harrington, and is seventh nationally among power forwards by Scout.com.

Behanan transferred after his sophomore season from Cincinnati Aiken, where he garnered honorable mention All-Southwest District (Division I) and first-team All-Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference accolades after averaging 20 points per game.

As a freshman, he earned third-team All-Southwest District and first-team All-Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference honors after averaging 20.2 points and 12.0 rebounds per game during Aiken's 15-6 season. Behanan was also a first-team All-Area pick by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Behanan has been effective on the AAU scene. He was named MVP of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 Camp, which took place June 16-19 on the campus of the University of Virginia. He led all players with 100 points (seven games) during the prestigious event, while his scoring average of 14.3 tied for third. Behanan scored in double-figures in every game (one of just two campers to do so). He averaged 23.5 points and earned 17U All-Tournament accolades for the Ohio Basketball Club at the 2010 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. He was the National division MVP of the 15U portion of the tournament in 2008, notching a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) to lead his squad to a 60-45 victory in the title game. Named MVP of the 15U division of the 2008 Hoop Group Jam Fest in Pittsburgh, as his Ohio Basketball Club took the team title.

Behanan also considered Cincinnati, Kentucky, Ohio State, West Virginia and Western Kentucky before choosing to attend Louisville.

Wayne Blackshear

Blackshear averaged 29.2 points and 14.2 rebounds as a junior to lead Morgan Park to the 2010 Chicago Public League title. Blackshear's score with 13.4 seconds left was the game-winner in the Mustangs' 61-60 victory over Marshall in the championship game of the tournament. The CPL title was just the fourth since 1901 for Morgan Park, who fell in the Class 4A Oak Lawn Regional finals to Bogan, 59-55 (a game in which Blackshear scored 34 points, including 22 in the first half).

"Wayne has the potential to be as good of a basketball player as I've recruited since I've been in this game," said Pitino. "He has the size, desire and the ability to not only play his position well, but do it at the national level against anyone. I watched him in the city championship draw a charge, score the winning bucket and with little time left block the shot with the game on the line. He has extraordinary length and toughness and he makes big plays."

Blackshear earned Class 4A first-team all-state honors from the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune as a junior and was named the Chicago Tribune/WGN Ch. 9-Athlete of the Month for December. He is ranked No. 17 nationally in the ESPN 100, 32nd by Rivals.com, No. 29 by USA Today recruiting analyst Rob Harrington, and is third among shooting guards nationally by Scout.com. He finished fourth in the voting for the 2010 Illinois Mr. Basketball award.

Blackshear produced 41 points, 21 rebounds, and six blocks in Morgan Park's 76-74 overtime win against Hyde Park in the semifinals of the CPL tournament last year. He scored 42 points in a 77-47 win over Uplift, including 19 points during a 37-11 third-quarter run for Morgan Park. He totalled 42 points and 18 rebounds in an 82-69 triumph over East Aurora, with both outings coming during the Mustangs' 12-game season-opening winning streak.

Blackshear played for the USA 2011 squad at the 2010 adidas Nations Global Experience, held Aug. 5-9 in Chicago. He averaged 10.5 points in six games as his USA 2011 team defeated USA 2012 in the championship game 82-68. He participated in the NBPA Top 100 Camp this summer and scored 27 points in his team's final contest of the camp. Blackshear was honored as the MVP at the Reebok All-American Camp in Philadelphia, Pa., in the summer of 2008. Blackshear posted a game-high 16 points in the camp's underclassman all-star game. He played his freshman and half of his sophomore seasons at Chicago Curie High School.

Blackshear also considered Illinois, Texas and Kentucky before signing with the Cardinals.

Zach Price

Price averaged 9.1 points per game as a junior, capping off his season with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in St. Edward's tight 61-57 loss to Mentor in the regional finals of the 2010 Ohio High School Boys Basketball State Championship. The Eagles finished the year 20-5, while Price garnered honorable-mention All-Northeast Lakes District honors. Price will play his final season at Jeffersontown High School in Louisville after transferring from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.

Zach Price
"Everything lies ahead for Zach," said Pitino. "He has good size, a soft touch and good hands. He's a left-handed big man, which can be difficult to defend. He's a bright basketball player with great upside. His biggest adjustment will be in conditioning, as it is for most high school players when moving forward."

Price is ranked No. 50 nationally in the ESPN 100, 72nd by Rivals.com, No. 63 by USA Today recruiting analyst Rob Harrington, and is seventh nationally among centers by Scout.com.

Price scored 7.0 points per game over his first eight games as a junior (5-3 record for St. Edward) but then turned things up as the Eagles caught fire, putting up 10.1 per contest during St. Edward's 15-game winning streak. Price scored in double-figures four times and averaged 11.4 points during the first five games of the streak.

Price averaged 15 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore to earn honorable-mention All-Northeast Lakes District citation. Price's Eagles went 16-7, falling to Warren Harding 61-57 in overtime in the regional semifinals despite 10 rebounds and three blocks from the center. He was a fifth-team all-state selection by Hoop Scoop as a freshman as the Eagles (22-5) reached the state championship game before dropping a 65-52 decision to Newark.

Price joins a long list of St. Edward post players to compete at the Division I level, including current players Tom Pritchard (Indiana), Delvon Roe (Michigan State), and Andy Stainbrook (Air Force) as well as former big men Sam Clancy (USC, 1998-2002), Chris Moore (UC Santa Barbara/Cleveland State, 2005-09), and Jawad Williams (North Carolina, 2001-05).

Price narrowed his options to Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Wake Forest and Wisconsin prior to choosing to continue his education at Louisville.

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