Blackshear lights up Western

Wayne Blackshear put on a show against Western H.S. Saturday night in the Play by Play Classic. The Louisville signee scored 36 points to lead Morgan Park to a 75-62 win over Ryan Taylor and the Warriors. Following the game, spoke with the future Louisville star.

Wayne Blackshear is one of Rick Pitino's most celebrated Louisville recruits. Saturday night, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward from Chicago showed Cardinal fans what all the hype is about.

Playing in his first of two games in Louisville this weekend, Blackshear led Morgan Park to a 75-62 win over Louisville Western. Though he's missed a couple games recently with sore knees, Blackshear showed no ill-affect against the Ryan Taylor-led Warriors, torching the nets for 36 points on 15 of 31 shooting, including 4-12 from the three-point arch.

"They showed me a lot of love out here, so I had just had to come out here and put on a show," Blackshear said. "It was a lot of fun. I wanted to show Louisville what I could do and show my skills and that's what I came out here and did."

Wayne Blackshear outshined Ryan Taylor Saturday night in Morgan Park's victory over Western High School.
Blackshear showed a little rust to his game in the first half, missing several shots that he normally knocks down. But the future Louisville star came out of the locker room hot, draining two quick three-pointers. After that, Blackshear was unstoppable as his team ran their record to 14-3.

"I missed a couple games in Chicago to rest up for this," Blackshear said. "I missed four games trying to get myself back to 100 percent. I'm not quite there [100 percent], but I can play through it. I'm just playing.

"I had to get in a rhythm. The first half, I haven't picked up a basketball in like a week. I had to get a flow going and I came out strong in the second half."

"I told him you're going to start out rusty but you've got to keep grinding," said Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin. "That's Wayne Blackshear, always grinding. And he finally got it going. He can turn it on at any time. I told him he's always got to be on and that's what I stress to him and he's finally starting to get it."

An all-around talent, Blackshear did more than score. He rebounded, found teammates for open shots, and dug in defensively, blocking three shots and making two steals. By the end of the contest, Blackshear had a large Louisville crowd rocking in the gym, chanting C-A-R-D-S.

"I just love playing here," Blackshear said. "The people show a lot of love for basketball. It's just a lot of love. When I first came down here I just felt comfortable with the team and got along with everybody right away. Me and Coach Pitino clicked right away and that's what stood out to me."

After the game, Blackshear collected his MVP trophy, then went to the stands where he was embraced by his family and future UofL teammates Tony Woods and Zach Price.

Taylor, who has put up huge numbers since moving to Louisville for his senior season, finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-5 forward made 5 of 14 shots, including 3 of 6 three-pointers. Taylor, an early verbal commitment to Louisville who didn't sign with the Cardinals during the early signing period, did much of his scoring at the foul line, making 8 of 10 free throws.

Now, Blackshear has a quick turnaround for Sunday's game at Bullitt East H.S. against 2012 Louisville commit Rodney Purvis. That game starts at 2 p.m. and tickets remain available.

"I've got a lot left in the tank for that game," Blackshear said. "Me and Rodney are going to try to put on a show tomorrow."

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