Hancock: I'm a pretty lucky guy

University of Louisville senior forward Luke Hancock has had an unbelievable career as a Cardinal. He was the first non-starter to ever earn the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award. It's been a career that Hancock said "couldn't have been written any better."

University of Louisville senior forward Luke Hancock took a different path to becoming a Cardinal. The Roanoke, Va., native signed with George Mason following a year at Hargrave Military Academy. Following two seasons with the Patriots, where he earned All-Rookie honors and then helped guide his team to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Fast forward three seasons and he is nearing the end of a career that will include multiple conference titles, back-to-back Final Fours and the 2013 NCAA Title.

"I'm a pretty lucky guy," Hancock said on Friday. "I transferred here for a chance to win a national championship and then during my redshirt year you get to go to the Final Four and experience all that, and then last year win it all. You couldn't write it up any better than that."

Hancock, who played for U of L assistant Kevin Keatts while at Hargrave, has countless clutch moments on his resume. His three-pointer and steal in the closing moments helped seal a key victory over conference rival Syracuse. His double-figure performances in each of the 2013 Big East tournament games played a significant role in the Cardinals claiming the league crown. His performance in the 2013 Final Four, when he became to first non-starter to win the Most Outstanding Player Award, will be forever etched in U of L basketball history.

Upon transferring to U of L, he was informed by Head Coach Rick Pitino that he was expected to "come in and play." Hancock admits that he was "nervous about the jump from a school like George Mason to Louisville."

That nervousness may have been the cause for a tough start to his junior season. His shots weren't falling for what must have felt like an eternity. Questions surfaced if he'd snap out of it. That he did and he credits his Hall of Fame coach for helping him remain focused. Rick Pitino stuck with him and it paid off.

"He's had my back since day one," Hancock explained. "Even when I wasn't playing as well as everybody hoped, I wasn't shooting the ball well, he kind of always had my back. He was always in my corner, trying to help me out of things and keep me in a positive light even when people were down on me."

Prior to U of L's final regular season game against UConn on Saturday, Hancock will joining Tim Henderson, Russ Smith and Stephan Van Treese for Senior Night ceremonies.

On Friday afternoon, Hancock was quick to respond when asked how his expectations had changed from when he first arrived in Louisville.

"My expectations were to win a national championship and now it is to win two national championships."

Hancock has started 14 games this season and his 11.8 points per game average is good for third on the team.

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