1. Kenneth Fareid videos work: University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino has mentioned several times in the past week that he's been showing the team videos of former Morehead State player Kenneth Fareid, the player Pitino called "the best rebounder in the NBA." The team spent several hours on Wednesday watching video of Fareid and it seems to have worked. U of L outrebounded Samford 53-28 – the largest rebounding margin in a game since 1998 – and had at least one rebound by all but one player who saw more than two minutes of action. Chane Behanan snared 18 boards and was a beast, while Gorgui Dieng had 13. It was a major improvement from the two exhibition games and the season opener.
2. Behanan/Blackshear get the start: Behanan moved into the starting lineup after being suspended for the two exhibition games, while Blackshear started just his second career game. Both seemed to like it, starting strong in the contest. Blackshear had five points in the early going and had one of his best outings with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals. Behanan had nine offensive rebounds and nine defensive rebounds. He had 15 rebounds early in the second half when Samford was still on just 17 points for the game. I would look for both Behanan and Blackshear to remain in the starting lineup for the Cardinals.
3. Yes, Hancock is struggling: Luke Hancock is in a major slump. Rick Pitino equated it to a baseball player who can't get a hit. Hancock was 1 of 12 from the field and seemed to be aiming or as Pitino said "darting" his shots in the second half. He was pressing and he's really a good shooter. Those were mostly open looks that he missed and he MUST improve for the Cardinals to really be the No. 2 team in the country. But give him time. He really did just get release medically about a month ago and has come a long way in a short period of time. He'll be fine.
4. Van Treese or Price?: The minutes for Gorgui Dieng's backup at this point have been split with Stephan Van Treese and Zach Price both seeing time. Pitino said last week that he felt Price was turning the corner. He played six minutes with one rebound and one foul, along with three fouls. Van Treese had a basket and three rebounds in seven minutes. Both can be serviceable for the Cardinals but they both need to still become more consistent. At this point, it appears Price might get the first call off the bench when a backup center is needed.
5. A few leftover observations: Tim Henderson (ankle) and Angel Nunez (concussion) were both sidelined for the game. . . . Behanan had 18 rebounds, marking a career high and the most by a U of L player since Ellis Myles pulled down 18 against Saint Louis in a 2005 game. . . . Blackshear's efforts were a career high in points (13) and rebounds (5). Gorgui Dieng had four blocked shots and now has 189 for his career, ranking him third in school history.