Less than two weeks from its first exhibition game of the season, the University of Louisville basketball team is now without one of its best frontcourt players.
U of L coach Rick Pitino announced on Thursday afternoon that junior forward Chane Behanan is suspended indefinitely from the team for a violation of university policy. Behanan is not allowed to participate in any team-related activities and is no longer living in Minardi Hall, the team's dormitory.
Pitino said Behanan has a plan that would allow him to get back on the team but the Hall of Fame coach said "it's not probable."
"We set up an arrangement for him to come back and he's already violated that in less than one week," Pitino said. "So, it will be indefinite. It will be for a long time.
"I was never concerned about Chane the basketball player. He's extremely respectful. He's a good guy, he's a good teammate and he's an excellent basketball player. But he just has a very difficult time understanding life's values and the significance of life's values. We're going to try and help him a long. We are more interested now in Chane the man than Chane the basketball player."
Behanan is allowed to work out and will be supervised by a member of the U of L basketball staff. But he's not allowed to practice.
Pitino said he earliest he could return would be sometime in mid-December but noted that he "doubted" that would be the case.
Pitino said he met with U of L athletic director Tom Jurich and "put together a map of how he can come back on the team," but noted Behanan has already "missed one of those assignments."
"He's a loveable guy," Pitino said. "Young people today have a very difficult time from a discipline standpoint of always doing the right thing. Chane wouldn't hurt a fly. But it's just very difficult for Chane to follow rules."
With the loss of Behanan, Pitino said Montrezl Harrell will get "34 minutes" and noted that's "not a bad thing." Wayne Blackshear will be asked to play some time at the four spot, while Pitino said he will try to "speed up the process" with freshman Akoy Agau.
"We feel like we will still be very, very strong at that position," Pitino said. "But we are very concerned about Chane Behanan."