Blackshear cleared to play for Louisville

Wayne Blackshear, a McDonald's All-American guard/forward, was officially cleared by the NCAA Monday to play for Louisville this season. Blackshear spoke with about the upcoming season at UofL's Media Day.

Louisville received word last Friday that freshman Wayne Blackshear, a McDonald's All-American, would be able to play this season.

Monday morning, the 6'5 guard/forward from Chicago, received official clearance from the NCAA to suit up for Rick Pitino's highly-ranked Cardinals. After Louisville's Media Day activities concluded Monday afternoon, Blackshear participated in his first practice as a Cardinal.

"I kept praying every night and things just worked out for me," said Blackshear.

Blackshear, who is coming off left shoulder surgery (non-shooting), is working hard to get back into basketball shape. Since coming to Louisville two months ago, Blackshear has cut his body fat from 17 to 8 percent and dropped 20 pounds, from 237 to 217.

Wayne Blackshear will make his Louisville debut Wednesday against Pikeville.
"I'm in shape but not basketball shape," Blackshear said. "It's going to take me a while to get back into basketball shape and get my game back. I've been going hard every day coming into the gym and (taking) no days off. Behind these doors is where we put the most work in."

Blackshear was a big-time scorer in high school, averaging more than 30 points per game as a senior for Morgan Park (IL). Blackshear did a lot of his work inside in high school, but will transition to the perimeter in Rick Pitino's system.

"I think I can still get away with (posting up) a little bit, but I've worked on my perimeter game a lot and that's what I've improved," said Blackshear.

Blackshear, who is expected to compete for a starting job on the wing, is ready to help the team any way he can.

"I'm going to rebound and play hard defense every night," said Blackshear. "We've got a lot of people on this team that can do different things. Whatever (Pitino) wants me to do I'll do it."

Blackshear will make his debut in a Louisville uniform against Pikeville Wednesday night in the Cards first exhibition game.

"I'm a hard worker and I don't back down from anybody on the court," Blackshear said. "As long as I put the work in I'll get the results."

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