June 7, 2011
Rick ~nbsp>Pitino Press Conference | Rick ~nbsp>Pitino on Podcast
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kevin Ware, a 6-4, 180-pound guard from Rockdale County High in Conyers, Ga., and Luke Hancock, a 6-5, 190-pound guard/forward who has played the last two seasons at George Mason, each have signed a financial aid agreement to attend the University of Louisville.
Ware averaged 13.2 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals as a senior last season in helping Rockdale County post a 26-6 record and finish as the Georgia 4-A state runner-up. A first-team all-state selection, he is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 70 overall prospect in the class of 2011, No. 94 in the ESPNU Top 100 and 99th nationally by Scout.com.
"Kevin is someone who can play three positions," said U of L coach Rick Pitino. "He gives us great length and height at the point spot. He'll be outstanding with our full-court press and great with our offensive transition game. We're very excited to have him as a part of our program."
As a junior at Rockdale County, Ware averaged 14.9 points and 4.0 assists per game while earning 4-A second-team all-state honors as the Bulldogs won the regional championship and reached the second round of the 4-A state playoffs with a 28-2 record.
Ware totaled eight points and four rebounds for the White team in the 2011 Derby Festival Basketball Classic All-Star game, played in Louisville's KFC Yum! Center in April. He scored a season-high 28 points as a senior against Meridian (Miss.) High School.
Ware originally signed a national letter-of-intent with Tennessee before being granted a release, and had narrowed his choices to Louisville and Georgia before joining the Cardinals.
Ware is the fifth member of the Cardinals' 2011 stellar recruiting class, which is ranked among the nation's top 10. He joins fellow U of L signees Chane Behanan, a 6-7, 250-pound forward from Bowling Green (Ky.) High School; Wayne Blackshear, a 6-5, 205-pound guard from Morgan Park High School in Chicago; Angel Nunez, a 6-7, 190-pound forward from Bronx, N.Y. who played last season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.; and Zach Price, a 6-10, 230-pound center from Jeffersontown High School in Louisville, Ky.
"Luke is exactly the type of player that we need for our basketball team," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "He's a young man who understands how to play the game. He's a true triple-threat player -- he can catch, pass and shoot well -- and he really has a great basketball IQ. If it comes down to someone needing to make the pass, make the shot or go to the foul line, you want him doing all three in crucial situations."
Hancock, who hails from Roanoke, Va., averaged 10.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-high 4.3 assists as a sophomore last season in helping George Mason post a 27-7 record and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He connected on 49.4 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from three point range, and 81 percent at the free throw line. He will sit out the 2011-12 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
He totaled 18 points, five assists and three rebounds against Villanova in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and his 3-pointer with 21 seconds left put the Patriots ahead for good in a 61-57 upset victory. He was a third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection as a sophomore when he scored in double figures on 19 occasions and handed out five or more assists 11 times.
Hancock earned all-rookie team honors in the CAA as a freshman when he averaged 7.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Patriots. He gathered 59 steals in his initial two collegiate seasons.
Hancock played high school basketball at Hidden Valley High School before playing for current U of L assistant Kevin Keatts for one season at Hargrave Military Academy when it was the national prep runner-up. He earned all-state honors while at Hidden Valley and was selected to the all-tournament team at the National Prep Tournament with Hargrave.
Hancock was an All-Timesland selection as a senior at Hidden Valley High School in 2007-08 when he averaged 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds and helped the Titans reach the state AA semifinals for the second straight season.
Before selecting U of L, Hancock also considered transferring to Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.