Head coach Larry Eustachy went through all the right moves. Unfortunately, sometimes taking a gamble can backfire on you.
Eustachy went out of his way to take a chance on Chane Behanan, a star forward with a national championship title. He did what he could to try and get Behanan on board with his Colorado State team undergoing a reloading period before taking aim at a run in the Mountain West this upcoming basketball season.
However, Behanan jumped ship before it ever set sail, announcing that he was declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft Monday morning.
The thing is, the CSU men’s basketball team will do just fine — maybe even better — without him.
There’s no doubt about Behanan’s talent as a basketball player. He’s got the character that shows he’s able to throw the team on his back and carry it when needed, something that CSU could have benefitted from — especially on nights when the chemistry between Daniel Bejarano, Jon Octeus and J.J. Avila runs scarce.
But it’s that same trait which also shows that his spot on the Rams’ roster might not have been the best fit possible.
Keep in mind that the kid would have been coming from a powerhouse Louisville squad to a school like CSU, which was basically going to serve as his stepping stone from sitting out a year of playing time to next year’s draft. Fort Collins was merely a pit stop for Behanan, and his focus would have likely been more on his individual performance than his team’s, had he chosen to stay. It’s hard to honestly say that he would have looked out for the best interest of the team as a whole rather than trying to shoot for 30 points every game to improve his numbers for potential professional teams to look at.
And there’s also the weight from Behanan’s actions off the basketball court that would accompany his presence on the team. The guy can’t stay out of trouble, picking up a citation for marijuana possession last month after being kicked out of the Louisville program for problems in the same department.
Whether it was his ability to relate with the road to recovery or his eye for a potential ability to perform, Eustachy was willing to look past all of it.
“I’ve always given players second opportunities. He started here with a clean slate. Obviously he stepped up a little bit with the incident in Louisville. But, if Chane had entered our University, I would not have worried about the phone ringing late at night, like I have others,” he said.
Regardless, Behanan’s absence won’t leave a void to fill.
Now, Eustachy won’t have to worry about reconstructing his starting lineup come December, when Behanan would have become eligible per NCAA transfer rules. Plus, he has talent coming in via transfer forwards Dantiel Daniels and Stanton Kidd, leaving two scholarships on the table still yet to be filled.
But at least there’s closure to it all. No more waiting games. And in Eustachy’s words, “There’s no losers in this.”
Collegian Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @QSickafoose.