Dec 20, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
Say this for Chane Behanan: He doesn’t lack confidence.
The Louisville freshman served up one of the season’s ready-made sound bites after Saturday’s win against Memphis, which’ll certainly attract attention from in-state rival Kentucky and every Big East team.
Yes, he really did say “We’re the No. 1 team in the country in my eyes. .. We’re going undefeated. Point blank, period.”
Bold talk from a guy averaging less than 10 points a game? Absolutely. The 6-6 wing (who’s posted three double-doubles in 10 games) has shown flashes of living up to that kind of swagger this season, though it wasn’t against Memphis. Still, as Mike Rutherford writes, it’s hard for Louisville fans not to like his confidence and swagger.
Only question is if it’ll end up haunting him. Jeff Eisenberg had a good rundown of guys who’ve made similar predictions and how they fared:
Ex-Oregon standout Malik Hairston famously predicted he would “Carmelo-ize” the Ducks by taking them to the national title as a freshman. Former UCLA stars Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo both thought they could lead the Bruins to a Final Four as freshmen only to have that season end with a first-round NCAA loss. And Memphis’ Will Barton guaranteed a national championship to a group of boosters as a freshman but the Tigers barely made the NCAA tournament at all.
Louisville’s talented enough to make the Final Four and maybe even win it all. Unbeaten? Probably not. But I love that Behanan’s thinking big.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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