Louisville sophomore-to-be Wayne Blackshear has been listed by ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan as one of the ten potential breakout players for the 2012-13 season.
Wayne Blackshear, Louisville: Blackshear arrived at Louisville as a highly touted recruit, but was rarely heard from during his freshman season. His first year at school was derailed by injuries, though, as opposed to a lack of playing time. But Blackshear returned in time to make a major impact in the Cardinals’ Final Four swing at the inimitable Kentucky Wildcats. UK prevailed, but the Chicago native was excellent in his 14 minutes on the floor. With injuries behind him, playing alongside defender-drawing forward Chane Behanan, the shooting guard will have ample opportunity to show his quality.
I think the majority of the Louisville fan base would agree that we’ve yet to see the best of Wayne Blackshear. We saw glimpses of his talent in the game at West Virginia and briefly in the Final Four against Kentucky.
A healthy Wayne Blackshear can be the biggest game changer next season, in my opinion. Blackshear is the type of player that Louisville hasn’t had over the past few seasons. He’s a pure scorer that has the ability to create for himself. In the past few seasons Louisville hasn’t had that “go-to-guy.” The success last year shows you that having the “go-to-guy” might be slightly overrated. However, when you have a playmaker like Blackshear, it’s tough to imagine 8+ minute scoring droughts.
With Siva, Dieng, and Behanan returning, there is a lot of high hopes the offense. When you throw in Wayne Blackshear, the sky is the limit.