Just one day after a violent collision with assistant Walter McCarty during practice, the 5'11, 180 pound Siva was back on the court to lead his team to a 93-89 victory over the Cardinals starters.
"If you saw what happened yesterday you would never have believed what you witnessed tonight," Rick Pitino said. "Yesterday, we're on a fast break in practice and Walt was standing on the court – why I don't know – and Peyton hit Walt head on. And he was choking on the ground and then he was blacking out when we were trying to keep him awake. Then the ambulance...came.....
"We were worried about a concussion. They had to do an [EKG], a brain scan and everything," added Pitino. "Without question I thought we were going to lose him for 3 to 5 games and he was iffy for Georgetown. So when he passed all the tests today and came back and played that well I was shocked."
"We all got scared when we saw him in the training room and we thought he got hurt real bad," Edgar Sosa said.
After being taken to Jewish Hospital following UofL's practice Saturday morning, Siva was released that afternoon. Sunday, Siva scored 21 points and dished out seven assists.
"I just prayed a lot and I thank God that I came back to a full recovery," Siva said. "I ran into Coach Walt and he's stronger than I thought he was. I just lost focus and got run to the hospital. But I'm here."
Behind 50-35 at halftime, Siva did most of his damage in the second half. He created problems for the Red team in the second half with his penetration, finding the open man for easy buckets and drawing fouls to get to the free throw line. Siva made all eight of his free throw attempts.
"We got down 15 and I didn't want to lose," Siva said. "I just fed off of our team energy and we came back."
He also hit two big free throws late in the contest to help secure victory for his team.
"Sosa told me to miss them but I told him I couldn't because he hit all those three's on me before," Siva said. "So he said, 'Let's see what you're really made of.' I knocked them down and I looked right after that – you know, that brotherly love."
Siva squared off against Sosa most of the game. Though Sosa scored a game-high 25 points, Siva more than held his own against the Cards starting point guard.
"He's learning from him and knows his role," Pitino said of Siva.
"He's like my big brother," Siva said of Sosa. "He's been watching over me so far. We're close on and off the court."
Siva shared back court chores with junior Preston Knowles and the two played well together. Knowles also scored 21 points and also handed out eight assists. The two combined to shoot 14 of 24 from the floor, including 6 of 12 from beyond the three-point arch.
"We just feed off of each other," Siva said. "He's a high energy guy and I'm a high energy guy. We just feed off of that."
"I love playing with him and he loves playing with me," Knowles said. "We've got a special bond. He doesn't play like a freshman, he plays like an upperclassman. Peyton plays great defense and he's an offensive threat."
Siva and the Cardinals will play their first exhibition against Georgetown (KY) College this week and the freshman guard says he's looking forward to matching up against someone other than Sosa.
"I've been playing Sosa all year so it will be good to play someone else," Siva said. "Everybody is going to be there and I want to get my jitters out early."