Former Cardinals

Russ Smith Rejoins The New Orleans Pelicans From The D-League

Photo: Nick Laham - Getty

Photo: Nick Laham – Getty

After a very brief stint in the NBA Redevelopment League, former Louisville star Russ Smith has rejoined the New Orleans Pelicans.

Last week Smith was sent to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League. He appeared in just two games, 14.5 points and 3.0 steals in 25-minuters per game.

Smith has appeared in just three regular season games games for New Orleans, averaging 0.3 rebounds per game.

“I’ll probably be going back and forth, that’s the reality of it,” Smith tells NBA.com’s Jim Eichenhofer.

“But I’m accepting it, because I’m not the player I want to be right now. I get a chance to work on a lot of stuff in the D-League. It’s not like it’s a punishment; it’s just a way for me to get better. That’s the way I’m looking at.”

Considering that his rookie season hasn’t gone quite as well as he had hoped, it’s good to see Smith is staying positive.

New Orleans has had a number of injuries to their backcourt, which could lead to increased playing time for Russ.

Luke Hancock Is Dunking On People In Greece

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Former Louisville star Luke Hancock has made a strong impact with Panionios B.C. since landing in Athens Greece. Before he signed with the club, Panionios was winless in their first four games of the season.

Since Hancock’s arrival is 2-2. The former Louisville sharp-shooter was plugged into the starting lineup as soon as he joined the club.

In his first four games Hancock is averaging 13-points and shooting 53% from behind the three point line.

During his career at Louisville, Hancock was mostly known for his shooting. His four consecutive three-pointers at the end of the first half against Michigan in the 2013 national title game is a moment fans will never forget.

Luke wasn’t considered to be a high level athlete at the college level, but those who watched closely during his career knew that he was far more athletic than he was given credit for. He showed that in a recent game in Greece.

Hancock shared this video of a monster slam on his Instagram account on Monday morning.

Peyton Siva Making The Most Of His Stint In The NBA D-League

Kevin Liles | USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Liles | USA TODAY Sports

As expected, former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva didn’t make the final regular season roster for the Orlando Magic. Siva’s deal with Orlando was non-guaranteed and it sounds like the Magic had a long term plan when initially signing for former Cardinal floor general.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported in July that Siva was expected to spend the season with Orlando’s NBDL affiliate, the Eria BayHawks, which is exactly where Siva is right now.

The Magic already had 15 players under contract for the 2014-15 season, which is why he was sent to the NBDL. This isn’t the perfect situation for Siva, but Orlando obviously thought highly enough of him to bring him on as a back-up option. He’ll be in the NBDL unless someone is waived or injured for Orlando.

The NBDL isn’t exactly the “Big League,” but Siva is more than making the most of the situation. He’s currently averaging 13.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. In last week’s win over Fort Wayne, Siva finished with 15-points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

NBA.com currently ranks Siva as the ninth best NBDL candidate to be called up to the NBA.

Chane Behanan Selected 14th Overall In The NBDL Draft

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Just minutes after the Louisville basketball team finished their first exhibition game of the 2014-15 season, former Cardinal forward Chane Behanan finally landed with a new team.

Behanan was fourteenth overall pick in Saturday’s 2014-15 NBDL Draft. He selected by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Since Louisville’s 2013 national championship, Behanan has been in the headlines multiple times, but unfortunately it hasn’t been for good reason.

For the second consecutive season, Behanan started the year on suspension from Rick Pitino. He eventually earned his way back on the team and was back in the lineup for Louisville throughout late November and all of December.

On Dec. 30, Rick Pitino conducted a press conference to announce that Behanan had been dismissed from the team for repeated violation of university rules and policy.

After being dismissed from the program, Behanan worked with former NBA player John Lucas in Houston, TX. Lucas runs a drug and alcohol treatment program for athletes and coaches. He’s worked with NFL player Tyrann Mathieu, former Kentucky and Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie, Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy and ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice

Behanan later committed and signed to play for Colorado State and would have been eligible for the second semester of this season. However, Behanan never made it to Colorado State and eventually decided to put his name in the 2014 NBA Draft. As expected, Behanan wasn’t drafted.

The Cincinnati native was believed to have landed with the Orlando Magic’s summer league team, but unfortunately for Behanan that never actually happened. Behanan’s agent claimed that he had been considering multiple overseas options, but he never signed with a pro team.

Behanan averaged 9.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in his 2 1/2 years with the Louisville program. He was a key piece to the 2012 Final Four team and the 2013 National Championship team.

We wish Chane the best of luck going forward.

Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan Says Calvin Pryor Hasn’t Made The Impact That He Expected

Julio Cortez | Associated Press

Julio Cortez | Associated Press

The New York Jets are having a rough season to say the least. After getting a win in week one win over the Oakland Raiders, the Jets have since lost their last seven games.

Head coach Rex Ryan has been known for his defense in years past, but so far this season the Jets rank 18th in the NFL in defensive passing yards per game. Needless to say, Ryan isn’t pleased.

He was recently asked about former Louisville safety Calvin Pryor and Ryan says their 2014 first round pick hasn’t done as well as they thought he would.

“He hasn’t had the impact necessarily that I think all of us had expected,” Ryan recently told the New York media.

“But quite honestly, we haven’t done a whole lot of — you know, our defense has been played a little differently than maybe we anticipated. So I think we had to make some of those adjustments along the way.

“And it hasn’t gone according to plan, so to speak. Maybe we thought we were gonna be more of an emphasis on certain things and (we’ve) kind of played different coverages. … I kind of envisioned us bringing that ball inside, letting him really hit some people but sometimes we have had to put him in different roles.”

In eight games Pryor has 16 solos tackles and a half sack.

“There have been a lot of moving parts on the back end, but he’s definitely right,” Pryor said of Ryan’s comments. “I look at myself in the mirror and I know I have to step it up.”

Two Former Louisville Cardinals Had Big Interceptions On Sunday Afternoon

Two former Louisville Cardinal defensive players had big performances on Sunday in the National Football League.

In a 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts, former Louisville safety William Gay had a big INT in the first half and returned it to the end-zone for a touchdown. You’ll likely see Gay all over Sports Center for the next 24-hours thanks to this spectacular celebration dance.

Gay led the Steelers with five tackles in the win. They’re now 5-3 on the year.

Former Louisville linebacker Preston Brown finished with eight tackles and had his career interception for the Buffalo Bills in a 43-23 win over the New York Jets.

You can see the INT at the 30-second mark of the highlights.

Brown is having a great rookie season with the Bills. He’s the team’s leading tackler and has been one of the best defensive rookies in the NFL throughout the first two months of the season.