Hancock picks Louisville

Former George Mason wing Luke Hancock had opportunities to transfer to Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Marquette, Xavier and South Carolina. But Saturday, the athletic 6-5, 190-pound sophomore from Virginia, decided to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville.

Former George Mason wing Luke Hancock had opportunities to transfer to Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Marquette, Xavier and South Carolina. But Saturday, the athletic 6-5, 190-pound sophomore from Virginia, decided to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville.

Hancock averaged 10.9 points this season at George Mason and led his team in assists. He was a key member of a 27-7 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and Hancock made the game-winning three-pointer against Villanova in the first round. Hancock scored 18 points in that contest against the Big East's Wildcats.

But after Jim Larranaga left for Miami, Hancock decided he wanted to take his game to a higher level, and asked for his release to explore his options. Despite overtures from ACC, Big 10, Big East and SEC programs, Hancock, who visited Louisville earlier this week, couldn't refuse the opportunity to play for Pitino.

"I just realized the chance to play for Rick Pitino in front of 22,000 every night in the Big East that I couldn't really beat that," Hancock said. "And I have a great relationship with Coach [Kevin] Keatts and I can come in and play and contribute after I sit out this year."

Though he will sit out the 2011-12 season, Hancock plans to work hard on his game to be ready to contribute for the Cardinals in 2012-13.

"I need to get a lot stronger to be able to compete at this level and get quicker to play defense on anybody," Hancock said. "I also want to work on my shooting and shoot the ball more consistently from anywhere, pull-up jumpers and three's. Coach Pitino thinks he can help me with that in everyday workouts."

Hancock, who will play on the wing for Louisville, averaged 4.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and shot 49 percent from the floor, including 35 percent from three, last season at George Mason. An outstanding free throw shooter, Hancock made 81 percent from the foul line as a sophomore.

"[Coach Pitino] feels like I can be a guy who can create my own shot and create shots for others," Hancock said. "He really liked the fact that I shot the ball well from three and from the field at [George Mason] and shot a good free throw percentage. He liked how many assists I got and feels like I can step in and create for myself and others."

Hancock will enroll at UofL in July, and plans to work toward a Business degree. "I want to be in the Business program, but I haven't declared a [major]. I want to take a few classes at UofL and figure it out."

After sitting out next season, Hancock will have two years of eligibility remaining at Louisville. "I can't wait to play for coach Pitino and hopefully win a national championship at Louisville," Hancock told Scout.com's Evan Daniels.


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