Luke Hancock booster shot at the Red Cross

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The observer is strapped in giving blood at the American Red Cross on Hubbard’s Lane, the hemoglobin flowing from his left arm when the unexpected happens.

“Ooooooh, my Lord” shrieks the Red Cross worker in his ear. “What’s wrong?” he asks, looking first at the needle, his arm and then the phlebotomist.

She’s not looking at him, however, but staring in awe out the window, proclaiming, “That’s Luke Hancock,” she says. “I can’t believe it.” Hancock is heading next door to pick up his dog Chloie from the pet store where his pet has been getting a shampoo. The last person the technician is concerned about is the donor for now.

Screenshot 2014-10-15 16.26.16Meanwhile, all the Red Cross technicians, except for the lone UK fan, pull out their cell phones to get pictures of him heading back to the car. One of them is bold enough to invite him into the facility. Luke passes on giving blood this trip but patiently poses for photos. (See the excited Erin Huguley with Luke above, and with his dog Chloie below).

Hancock is incredibly upbeat despite being waived by the Memphis Grizzlies a couple days ago, and still wearing their T-shirt. And the observer is able to thank him personally for those four consecutive three-pointers for the University of Louisville in the NCAA Final Four in 2013.

Louisville getting act together in romp over Hofstra

A time for tying up the loose ends together in a 97-69 win for Louisville over Hofstra.

Getting Chane Behanan back in the fold, enabling Luke Hancock to regain his footing.

Allowing Russ Smith to do what comes naturally, throwing up 26 points in the first half, with five three pointers, finishing with 30 points, squeezing in five assists somewhere between 22 shots.

Marveling about how quickly Chris Jones has made the transition from junior college, making good decisions, finding open teammates, zeroing in on the basket whether behind the arc or beneath the basket, turning in 20 points, seven assists and four steals. Quick, decisive and consistent.

Savoring every moment Montrezl Harrell is on the court, dunk after dunk after dunk, even after the whistle, chewing on that ever-dangling mouth guard. Hoping he gets to be as enthusiastic about rebounding as he does dunking. That 15-foot shot of his will come in handy against good zone defenses. Nineteen points, five rebounds.

Resuming the calming presence of Luke Hancock on the court, showing no signs of the Achille’s injury except for the strips of black tape. Missing three-point attempts from his favorite spot during the NCAA tournament but making two others. Eight points after all those weeks of missing practice.

Combining Stephan Van Treese and Mangok Mathiang for eight rebounds and four points, needing to pick it up if they’re going to replace Gorgui Dieng. Got to happen soon.

Having flashbacks of early season awkwardness from Chane Behanan, knowing how bad he wants to get to the NBA, expecting him to live up to his own expectations, the sooner the better for all affected.

Luke Hancock to sit during Louisville scrimmages

Luke Hancock won’t be appearing in any of the three upcoming University of Louisville basketball scrimmages, according to Rick Pitino.

Not that Hancock hasn’t completely recovered from reported ankle or Achilles problems, but he had a very tough summer, according to the coach.Rick-Pitino-Oct.4,-2013

“Luke’s has a combination of things that are now totally healed,” said Pitino. “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.

“I know what he is. Luke is Luke. You know what you get with him.”

Pitino also reported that Kevin Ware’s most recent X-ray indicates that he has recovered from the injury he occurred against Duke in the NCAA tournament.  “He started working out yesterday. I would say he’ll be ready to play all-out basketball sometime by the end of October.  Then he’s got to get over the psychological aspects of it which is the most difficult part with that kind of injury.

“He knows it’s difficult. We’ve just got to throw him in the pool and tell him to swim.”

US thumps United Arab Emirates, Montrezl gets gold

LukeLuke Hancock (center), of the University of Louisville, is captured by a photographer moments before the parade of national teams during the World University Games in Russia. He scored nine points in 14 minutes of play during a 140-46 romp over United Arab Emirates in the opening basketball game Sunday.  (Photo from World University Games site.)

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Meanwhile, Montrezl Harrell was leading Team USA’s U-19 team to a 82-68 win over Serbia in the FIBA World Championship at Czechoslovakia. Harrell had 17 points, four rebounds, and four blocks in the final win. His team was 6-0 in the competition.

Harrell started every game and averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, hit 42-of-73 field goals (.575) and added eight steals and 10 blocked shots while averaging 18 minutes a game for the USA squad coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan.