#13 Louisville Cardinals: College Basketball 111 in 111

u of l cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

For the second straight year, Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals had their season end in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament; this time at the hands of 13th seeded Morehead State.  With several core players returning, the Cards are expected to be a top ten team in 2011-12 though a season-ending injury McDonald’s All-American Wayne Blackshear lowers their expectations a bit.

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Louisville Recruit, McDonald’s All-American Wayne Blackshear Scored 56

wayne blackshear

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to interview three of the top high school players/incoming college basketball freshmen in the nation right before they had the opportunity to meet Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose, a McDonald’s All-American in 2007.

When I brought up Wayne Blackshear’s 56 points in one game, Blackshear’s fellow McDonald’s All-Americans Anthony Davis and Branden Dawson were in reverence and astonishment of his scoring achievement.

“My coach said I need a big performance this year, to try to put me up there,” Blackshear said about his 56 point outburst.

“So I was just working out that whole week putting a lot of shots up, and that game I played, I got to the free throw line a lot, and I couldn’t miss, so I was really focused.”

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Bulls, Derrick Rose Greet Local McDonald’s All-Americans

Derrick Rose Bulls

Tonight’s NBA contest between the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats featured three Chicago-area McDonald’s All Americans debuting their official 2011 jerseys at Chicago’s famed United Center alongside 2007 McDonald’s All American and current Bulls guard, Derrick Rose.

Branden Dawson, Wayne Blackshear and Anthony Davis will join forces again at the United Center on March 30 as Boys West squad teammates during the 34th McDonald’s All American Boys Game.

It was a special night for all three local products as they took in a game at “the House that Michael Jordan Built,” on a night when Jordan himself was in attendance (along with his former running mate Scottie Pippen and former Chicago Bears Defensive end/newly crowned NFL Hall of Famer Richard Dent)

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