Last year on Senior Day, Louisville came out and laid an egg, losing to USF. This year they played in a game where they had a Big East Championship on the line and the Cards did not disappoint. It didn’t take any overtimes this time as the Cards downed the Irish 73-57. Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, and Mike Marra will go out as winners.
This was one of the rare senior days where it seemed as if all of the players that really stood out were seniors. Other then Luke Hancock, who has been absolutely on fire from three lately, there was a very even spread of scoring amongst the team. Yes, as shocking as it may be…Russ Smith only scored 5 points.
Senior Day was emotional for everyone…here is the video of the ceremony
Mike Marra was named the honorary head coach for the Cardinals tonight and sat next to Pitino all night. A couple times tonight Marra even called timeouts when he felt they were needed. Marra has said that he wants to get into coaching eventually and Pitino is looking to welcome him into his coaching tree. It is nice to think that everything happens for a reason and that is the case with Mike Marra because no one deserves to go through what he has gone through without some kind of repayment in the end.
Gorgui Dieng was the only junior to participate in Senior Day this year. Dieng came to the United States from Senegal and has developed his game so much to the point where many consider him capable of being a first round draft pick. I can recall him first coming to Louisville and him being this big lanky guy in the middle of the floor that didn’t understand the rules of the game. Where has all that time gone? Dieng has developed into a fan favorite among Card Nation and will forever be loved among the city. Dieng still may come back next year, but all signs point towards this win versus Notre Dame being his last game in the Yum! Center. Dieng finished only 3 points shy of his career high with 20 points.
Peyton Siva will go down as one of the greatest Cardinals of all time. You may be able to argue this for his on the court performance but you certainly cannot argue this about his off the court demeanor. Many people refer to him as one the the best people they have ever been around and a blessing.
I remember when Peyton Siva first commited to Louisville and he was consistently compared to John Wall. I will tell you what, I would rather have four years of Peyton Siva, than one year of John Wall any day of the week. Peyton Siva has been a joy to watch. I always remember back to a Friday night game against Connecticut where Louisville blew their doors off. Peyton Siva literally jumped over someone that night to get a rebound and it was just stunning to watch. There are somethings that he can do on a basketball floor that a lot of people cant and it is hard to see him go.
Sure, he has had his performances where he has made me want to rip my hair out. But he has always responded with big games and big shots. I leave you here with a couple highlights of the great times that Peyton Siva has given to Louisville.