By Noah Allison–
With 10:16 left in the first half senior forward Wayne Blackshear made a 23-foot three pointer. With his first score of the game he became the 67th Louisville Cardinal to reach the thousand-point mark in his career.
Louisville having 67 program thousand-point scorers is second only to the University of North Carolina.
Blackshear came to Louisville four years ago as a McDonald’s All-American out of Illinois. He missed much of the regular season his freshman year due to injury but came back just in time to play a pivotal role in the Cardinal’s run to the Final Four.
His sophomore year he started at the small forward position and helped Louisville win its third National Championship.
As a junior he helped get the Cards to the Sweet Sixteen and now again in his senior year he has helped get the Louisville Cardinals back to the Sweet Sixteen. Of all the thousands of players to wear Louisville on the front of their jersey, Blackshear is the only player to go to a Sweet Sixteen in all four years of his career.
But because of the high expectations for him coming in Blackshear has always been a point of controversy amongst fans.
“It’s very easy to criticize, it’s very easy. It takes no talent at all to criticize. But the coaching staff, every coach that’s coached Wayne Blackshear, thinks he’s the greatest kid in the world, thinks he’s one of the hardest workers. So we have never one time criticized him. We all think we have been tremendously blessed by his presence at the University Of Louisville,” head coach Rick Pitino said.
Fans may have mixed feelings about Blackshear, but with a team high 19-point performance to carry the Cards past the first round of the NCAA tournament, they shouldn’t bother to argue over his successes or struggles.
Because at the end of the day, Blackshear has played in four of the greatest years in Louisville Cardinal history, and it’s not over yet.
Photo by Austin Lassell / The Louisville Cardinal