Mar 1, 2012, 8:45 PM EDT
Wayne Blackshear played 20 minutes in his Louisville debut on Feb. 11, but has logged 21 total minutes – including a DNP vs. Cincinnati – in the five games since.
That may soon change.
As the No. 19 Cardinals prepare to face No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday, coach Rick Pitino says playing the freshman wing is one of the few certainties the Cards have right now. Kyle Kuric might see more time at 2-guard. The hope is Blackshear can provide an addition scoring presence. That may be asking a lot.
The 6-5 forward was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school but injuries kept him off the court for most of the season. He hasn’t displayed much confidence in his return, which is showing in his shot and lack of playing time. Makes sense, though. Who wouldn’t be rusty missing that much time?
The move might seem slightly desperate for a team still fighting for a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, but Pitino clearly feels as if he has no choice. The Cards have scored more than 57 points just once in the last five games.
If that continues against Syracuse and into the Big East tournament, this scenario won’t be out of the question.
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