Peyton Siva: 'One of the best we've ever had'

Two weeks after winning the school's third national title, the talks still hasn't slowed about the championship or the place in history for the members of the 2013 University of Louisville basketball team. The biggest question has been where senior point guard Peyton Siva ranks. Cardinal Authority talked to several U of L legends about Siva and his place in history.

Sports Illustrated sparked a major debate among University of Louisville fans recently by putting senior guard Peyton Siva on the school's all-time team.

The magazine listed Siva and Darrell Griffith as the guards on the team along with forwards Charlie Tyra and Junior Bridgeman and center Wes Unseld.

It's been a hot topic for two weeks since the Cardinals claimed the school's third national title with a victory over Michigan in Atlanta.

"He has a high place in history," Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum, who won the school's first two titles, said. "You have to admire how that young man played."

Siva, a four-year player from Seattle, finished his career as the school's all-time steals leader and second in assists. He was a two-time Big East Conference Tournament MVP and led the Cardinals to back-to-back Final Fours.

Siva has been mentioned as perhaps one of the all-time best point guards in school history, along with LaBradford Smith, DeJuan Wheat, Milt Wagner and others. Ex-U of L center Felton Spencer pointed out "we didn't have point guards under coach Crum, he just said go on to both the guards."

"You can't put me as a point guard because Keith Williams ran most of the point," said LaBradford Smith, the school's all-time assists leader.

But Smith said no matter what former player you bring up, he watched Siva closely for four years and "really enjoyed his play."

"I would say, ‘Yes, he ranks up there with some of the best ever'," Smith said. "The thing is he got a championship ring, and that boosts him up even more.

"He got the steals record and I was hoping I could bring him that ball as the assist leader. Peyton is a great player. It's hard to really compare, we've had a lot of great ones over the years. But I would say he's one of the best we've had."

And Dr. Dunkenstein agrees.

Griffith, the school's all-time points leader and arguably the greatest player in school history, has traveled to most games with the team in recent years.

"Both Peyton and Russ (Smith), they're probably the most tenacious backcourt we've ever had defensively and with their quickness. They go down in history. Any time you win a national championship, you have great players.

"Peyton will go down as one of the best we've ever had."

Siva played in 143 games for his career and averaged 8.4 points, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals a game, while hitting 41.6 percent from the field.

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