Louisville Cardinals star small forward Luke Hancock won’t be participating in Louisville’s upcoming Red and White scrimmages, but it doesn’t have much to do with offseason injuries. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino simply wants a key player to take it easy this offseason as we draw closer to the upcoming college basketball season.
Pitino said of his reasoning for letting Luke Hancock rest, “Luke’s has a combination of things that are now totally healed. He feels great, he’s shooting, he’s working out but I’m going to treat him like an old baseball veteran and let him go through it slower than everybody else. These red and while games take a lot out of you because there are no substitutions. I want to give him two more weeks and bring him in toward the end of October.”
It’s solid and prudent logic from Pitino here, and he later went on to say that Louisville basically knows what it has in Hancock. Pitino knows how much of a leader Hancock is and how great of a player the senior SF is, so there’s no point in really playing him in these scrimmages. Louisville wants to be cautious and make sure Hancock is as healthy and rest as possible going into the season, and players like him are best off getting rest instead of playing in three meaningless scrimmages. He doesn’t need those extra minutes, and, more importantly, that playing time can go to somebody who needs it more.
Hancock averaged 8.1 points per game last season with a solid 17.5 PER, and while he wasn’t as good on the offensive end last season as he was during his time at George Mason, Hancock showed some improvement on the defensive side of the ball. He was named the tournament’s MVP, and the efficient forward should have a big 2013 campaign for the Louisville Cardinals.