It was 24 years ago when Jerome Harmon and LaBradford Smith played in the prestigious all-star game. Now, two of Rick Pitino's top recruits – Chicago shooting guard Wayne Blackshear and Bowling Green power forward Chane Behanan – will take part in the 2011 McDonald's All-American game at Chicago's United Center on March 30.
Blackshear, Scout.com's No. 3 shooting guard in the nation, thrilled local crowds two weeks ago when his Chicago Morgan Park team played two games in the Louisville area. The 6-foot-5 Blackshear scored 36 points in a win over Western HS, then had 24 points and 11 rebounds in a narrow loss to 2012 Louisville commit Rodney Purvis. Blackshear is rated the No. 12 prospect nationally.
Behanan, Scout.com's eighth-ranked power forward nationally, is considered the top prospect in the state of Kentucky. Named the 2010 NBA Top 100 Camp Most Valuable Player, Behanan is ranked the No. 27 prospect in the Class of 2011. Behanan scored a season-high 41 points and 17 rebounds in a win over Iroquois in the King of the Bluegrass.
"He's an animal in the paint and can really rebound, defend and score in the paint," said Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels. "He's a blue-collar guy who goes to work around the basket."
In ten years at Louisville, Rick Pitino has had ten McDonald's All-Americans, counting Behanan and Blackshear. The other players include Carlos Hurt (2001), Marvin Stone (1999), Sebastian Telfair (NBA), Amir Johnson (NBA), David Padgett (transfer from Kansas), Earl Clark (2006), Samardo Samuels (2008), Peyton Siva (2009).
Note Louisville actually had three players on the 1990 McDonald's All-America team, but Clifford Rozier signed with North Carolina before transferring to Louisville, and Anthony Cade never played for the Cardinals. Dwayne Morton was a three-year starter for UofL.
Walz also lands McDonald's All-AmericanLouisville women's basketball signee Sara Hammond was also named to the McDonald's All-American team Thursday, becoming the Cardinals first woman signee named to the team.
Hammond, who is ranked the No. 12 player in the nation by ESPN.com, signed with Louisville over UConn and Vanderbilt.