Louisville a Dangerous Tournament Team?
In their win against second-seeded Marquette, the Cardinals had 83 possessions in an up-tempo contest. On Saturday, they had just 61. That slower pace is why Louisville won with just 50 points—they had 50 at halftime against Marquette. That’s a huge variance in pace to have to deal with in a matter of days.
“It wasn’t as difficult because the guys had a great attitude,” (Rick) Pitino said. “What’s difficult is you never had any offense or defense you could practice. You kept changing every game. I’ve never slowed the ball up in my life, but we had to (Saturday) because we couldn’t survive a game with foul trouble.”
The Cardinals’ ability to win games against NCAA-quality teams is one of the reasons they’ll be such a dangerous team in the Tournament. And it speaks volumes about point guard Peyton Siva, who had to run these varied offensive attacks. “You could tell he stepped into the role we needed him to play,” said Kyle Kuric, who had 13 points on Saturday. “The Peyton we’re all used to, you could tell he didn’t want to lose and he wasn’t going to let us lose. Anytime something happened, he would pick somebody up. Every timeout, he was always talking.”
Not surprisingly, (Peyton) Siva was voted the most outstanding player of the tournament. Kuric and teammate Gorgui Dieng made the all-tournament team, along with Yancy Gates and Cashmere Wright from Cincinnati and Dion Waiters from Syracuse.