The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals have five players who are averaging more than 20 minutes per game this season, but starter Wayne Blackshear is not one of them. Blackshear has been quietly playing a big role with less playing time.
UofL is led in minutes played by Peyton Siva (29.4 min), Russ Smith (28.4 min), Chane Behanan (25.1 min), Gorqui Dieng (24.8 min) and Luke Hancock (21.8 min). One would assume that is the starting five, but that is not the case. In Louisville’s 10 games so far this season, Blackshear has started 9. The only player to have started all 10 is Siva. Surprisingly, Hancock has only started 2 games, but is seeing the fifth most minutes. Blackshear is averaging 19.7 minutes per game which isn’t far from Hancock, but his contribution is better.
Blackshear, a sophomore from Chicago, is averaging 8.5 points per game which is fourth best on the team. Everyone else ahead of him is averaging double-digits in scoring and seeing approximately 5 to 9 minutes of playing time more per game. In addition, Blackshear is averaging 2.8 defensive rebounds per game which is third best on the team behind Dieng’s 4.2 and Behanan’s 3.9. Of those that see decent minutes, Blackshear is also better at the free-throw line than Behanan, Dieng, Hancock, and Montrezl Harrell. Bad news is, Blackshear is only shooting 68.0 percent from the charity stripe.
With more minutes, Blackshear appears to be capable of bigger numbers. As UofL prepares for Big East play soon, Blackshear may see his workload increase.