Pitino said he hoped Behanan would grow up.
Now, it appears that Behanan is on the right track. He practiced with the U of L team for the first time this season on Friday afternoon and will be on the bench for the opener on Saturday against College of Charleston. Pitino said he won't be in uniform and didn't have "a timetable" for his return.
"I think was a tremendous blessing," Pitino said. "I believe he was on a collision course to fail. He's done everything we have asked for 30 days."
Pitino said he has been "so pleased," with the way Behanan has responded to the suspension. He's not able to live in the basketball dorm – and still isn't in there – and wasn't able to participate in any basketball activities until Friday.
"I think Chane is embarrassed, and when he's embarrassed he does the right things," Pitino said.
While Pitino said he wasn't sure when Behanan would come back, the news is still good that he will be back at some point this season. Pitino said it wasn't "probable" that Behanan would return last month.
"He deserves to be there," Pitino said. "He has done a fabulous job. He started off a little rocky but in the long run it will help him be accountable.
"He's had to be accountable to himself and learn to do some things by himself. Now it's all based on what he is doing," Pitino said. "He's gotten through 30 days without screwing up, which is a minor miracle."
Senior Luke Hancock, the Final Four MOP, won't play on Saturday and is still sidelined with an Achilles injury. He hasn't practice fully with the team the entire preseason but has been doing individual workouts.Pitino said Hancock's injury is "not serious at all," but noted that it "just takes time to get it right," saying trainer Fred Hina is bing very "ultraconservative."
"I am just guessing right now," Pitino said. "I really don't know when he's coming back. I really don't know."
Junior guard Kevin Ware returned to the court on Wednesday but Pitino said he would likely not play on Saturday because he was "tender" on Thursday and he wants to take his time getting him back into the flow.