Will the Real Aggressive Wayne Blackshear, Please check in?
Wayne Blackshear has to be one of the biggest recruits to land on campus since the late 80’s early 90’s. Wayne arrived with a ton of expectations and for a slew of reasons has not reached expectations, that is until recently. The move by Coach Rick Pitino to bring Wayne off of the bench has been one of the best moves by Coach Pitino in recent memory. Wayne and Luke Hancock have seemed to be the most disadvantaged players on Louisville’s roster when it comes to the new foul rules in college basketball. Wayne more so than Luke has got in early foul trouble, which has prompted Pitino to bring him off the bench.
If one play this year can sum up the expectations that Louisville fans have for Wayne Blackshear, it would be when he checked into the game at UConn and missed a jump shot but followed it by snagging his own rebound and slamming it home amidst a crowd of defenders. I think all Louisville fans know that Wayne can shoot, but we want to see the aggressive Wayne more consistently. For the team to be successful it needs a player of Wayne’s size and ability to constantly attack the rim. There is enough talent on this roster to be serious contenders to defend their Championship, but for that to happen Wayne will have to take over at times when the team is too comfortable settling for jump shots.
How does Wayne become more aggressive consistently? There are a few ways that this can be done, Coach Pitino has mentioned before that Wayne needs to improve his ball handling; nobody expects Wayne to constantly take players off of the dribble, but there will be times when he has larger or slower players guarding him and he will need to. The biggest key is to not hang around the three point line in the corners and watch, hoping that the defense collapses and the ball is kicked out to him for a three point attempt. If Wayne can constantly keep moving without the ball, rebound and do work around the rim, he can do real damage to the opponents. One of the best comparisons I can think of Wayne to patent his game after would be a more athletic Paul Pierce, a very good shooter but is aggressive and gets the most out of his ability. Might not be the fastest player on the court but makes the game move at his own pace and demands the defense’s attention.
The key to Louisville’s title hopes rest upon seeing a more AGGRESSIVE Wayne Blackshear on a consistent basis, especially in big games when it matters.