I spent the this weekend watching as much college basketball as one could possibly do. Thursday in Cincinnati. Friday at the King of the Bluegrass at Fairdale for 4 games and Saturday I was only able to attend 3 - the Cards and UCONN/Gonzaga on TV pulled rank. I did see some great high school ball, the sport at it's purest, over the last two days. Of course it was led by the point guard of the future for the Fighting Cardinals, Peyton Siva.
The photo on the left is from my camera phone when Siva went down tonight with an apparent sprained ankle. This happened at the start of the second quarter causing Siva to sit out the rest of the half. He walked off the court on his own power. Seeing his Franklin Quakers only leading by 4 at the half, the gritty Siva decided to fight through the pain and join in a team effort to beat Pleasure Ridge Park 68-57. Siva finished the game with 9 points and 7 assists on only 3/9 shooting. However, Siva will be just what the doctor ordered for the Cards. You see, Siva doesn't have to shoot to be happy. He enjoys getting his teammates involved and will take 9 and 7 and a win any day of the week. Siva does this thing where he points to the air when he makes a free throw or a bucket. But he also does it when a teammate does the same and was definitely the vocal leader even if he wasn't the leading scorer. He makes quick, smart decisions but does try to make the spectacular pass sometimes to a fault. Sources say Siva's ankle is pretty swollen (like soft ball swollen) and will be a game time decision in the semis against Coral Reef (FL) on Monday. At least he has a day to rest it.
Siva, at 5-10 170 pounds, jumped center for a team that fielded no one taller than 6'4 (allegedly). He was 1 for 2 on the tip-offs in the two games this weekend. Pretty good for someone giving up at least 6 inches to both players. He definitely has extremely explosive leaping ability and isn't afraid to go up and dunk in a 7-footers face just by looking at him. He has great rotation on his shot, seems to never get frustrated, and plays like he is having a good ol' time out there. I can't wait to see him in a Cardinal uniform next year so a freshman can teach an un-named senior how to play team ball. Siva makes everyone around him better like a PG should.
Other guys I liked...
Jordan Hickman - Bardstown KY - PG - A 6'3 strong left-handed player who is huge for his position and probably grabbed at least 10 boards to go with his 27 points Saturday. He hit the GW shot to break a tie with a coast-to-coast lay-up that beat the buzzer. He's not top-level material but he will do wonders in the Ohio Valley Conference or somewhere similar. He is thought of as the best player in the 5th region this year
Ryan Kelly - Centennial TN - The 6'7 son of the head coach set a KOB record with 67 points on 26-33 shooting. The kicker is his team LOST 102-95 in OT Saturday. Absolutely amazing. I saw the guy play Friday and didn't think much of him. Proves my point that you have to see a player at least twice before you pass judgement, whether it be positive or negative. Kelly will attend Miami (OH) next season.
Michael Kvam - Cherokee GA - First off, he had the best haircut I have ever seen on a single athletic human being and that includes Dennis Rodman, Anthony Mason and even Cornelius Holden. He looked like he had a "Joe Dirt" wig on, only it was real. Wait until I find a good enough picture. Second, he was very good. Kvum overshadowed his teammate and the supremely overrated Shawn Kemp, Jr. and led his team in scoring with 23 Friday. But seriously...the haircut...i mean you have to see it. My favorite player besides Siva at the tourney for not only his hair but his slick play on the court as well.
Check into my homeboy Jody Demling's blog on the C-J online for an excellent rundown on what has transpired so far at the 28th King of the Bluegrass.