Cards rise in polls; Behanan honored

Rick Pitino

The University of Louisville men's basketball team jumped a couple of spots in the polls this week after a comeback victory at Memphis on Saturday. The Cardinals are No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the Associated Press poll. Here are a few notes to start the week from Cardinal Authority.

BEHANAN NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK

University of Louisville sophomore Chane Behanan had his best outing of the season on Saturday in an 87-78 win at Memphis.

Behanan was rewarded on Monday when he was named Big East Conference Player of the Week by the league office.

Behanan had 22 points, three rebounds and two steals in the victory. Behanan was 7of 12 from the field, including 1 of 2 three-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws. He was only hitting 45.5 percent from the line before the game.

Behanan is now averaging 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.

VAN TREESE BANGED UP

Senior center Stephan Van Treese was the player U of L coach Rick Pitino was talking about on Friday when he said he was "banged up."

The 6-foot-9 Van Treese said after the Memphis game that he had a "minor bone bruise under his knee cap" and is expected to be fine.

Van Treese only played nine minutes in the win against Memphis, collecting two rebounds and getting his hands on several loose balls.

"I was a little banged up this week," Van Treese said. "I knew I was going to get some minutes, I just wanted to do the best I could with the minutes I got.

"I can play through it, but coach was trying to ease it a little for me."

RUSS TALKS ABOUT HIS INJURY

Junior guard Russ Smith finished with 19 points but missed some time in the first half when he went down with a lower left leg injury.

Smith went to the locker room, had the ankle checked, retaped and then came back into the game. He hit 12 of 12 free throws.

"As I was shooting a three, I came down and I fell on his shoe," Smith said. "It just twisted wrong, but it was as much of my ankle as in the back.

"It was a weird feeling I had never had before. But I'll be fine."

PITINO WANTS TO KEEP SERIES

The meeting with Memphis on Saturday was the 87th between the two schools, who were rivals in the Metro and C-USA Conferences.

Pitino, who pitched for Memphis to get into the Big East Conference, said he wants to keep the series going even after U of L moves into the ACC.

"Great fans, great environment," Pitino said. "I would like to keep this going a really long time. I love Memphis, love the town, love the people, love the rivalry. It's a great rivalry and I would love to continue it."

Pitino said the atmosphere was "one of the best we will see," noting the 18,000 fans were loud and a lot of times were heckling U of L and Pitino.

"It will rival any Big East crowd, certainly," he said.

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