In a street fight, and make no mistake, Thursday night’s brawl in the Hall was nothing but, you got to have all the parts.
Chane Behanan. 11 boards, 12 points.
Chinanu Onuaku. 11 rebounds, 8 points.
Guys who mix it up, but also carry a blade.
Omar Prewitt. 13 points, including a couple dagger triples.
Need I say his name?
Russ Smith. 20 points, including the first two of the Elam Ending, and the game winning FT.
But the most important member of the gang is the organizer, the guy who makes sure everybody knows their role and sees to it that matters progress as they should.
Because of a bad hammy, he didn’t start, wasn’t even slated to play.
Because he is arguably the best leader that’s ever balled in the Ville, he gutted it out and took to the hardwood anyway. It was obvious in the early stages of this gut check game his presence was sorely needed.
His seventeen minutes on the court turned the game. At +12, he was the only Villian with a double figure number in that category.
He played very little in the first half, entering late.
The Truth: After his assist to Kyle Kuric for The Ville’s final tally before intermission, The Ville was never behind in the 79-74 scar-inducing victory over Jackson Underdawgs.
The winners started to distance ahead in the 3d when Siva got the ball to Onuaku for two. Then to Prewitt for a triple. Then a Peyton’s steal led to a fast break deuce.
When matters got dicey, he steadied the ship.
It’s what he does.
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I’m on record as saying my favorite performance ever by a Louisville Cardinal was Peyton Siva’s relentless effort against Michigan in the ‘13 title win.
It is the most intense I’ve ever seen a Cardinal perform in a game.
When I’m in Seedy Superlative Mode — Which is often — I’ve been known to pontificate it’s the best single game performance ever by a Cardinal.
But that’s subjective.
I do know that he’s the guy who set Luke Hancock up for those four triples in a row. Spacing. Maneuvering the flow. Controlling the tempo.
And he’s the guy with the assist when Trezl jammed the most memorable dunk in Cardinal history. (I know, Grif’s 360 against St. John’s on national TV. But Harrell’s mattered.)
And a decade later, there was Peyton Siva, bad wheel and all, imposing his will in the TBT.
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The Ville meets the top seeded Gutter Cats at noon Saturday in Freedom Hall.
— c d kaplan