kyra: Barstool Sports had an article a while ago congratulating Peyton Siva on winning the title and finally leaving Louisville. The premise of the article is that it feels like Siva has been at Louisville for the past decade. Buckeye and I have long talked about the class of players who fit this mold–somehow they seem to never leave school. However, we felt the Barstool blog did a poor job of identifying who these players are, so we sought to write a response blog with a better list.
Before we get to the list, who are these players? They tend to be guys who are not top prospects (resulting in them staying longer at school). They are the ‘on-court generals.’ You know the ones–the coach is always whispering into their ear during free throws; they play hard on both ends of the floor; they believe that in order to win you have to execute, and you just gotta make a couple more plays out there than the other guy. They are the guys who analysts describe as having unquantifiable intangibles: clutchness, leadership, willingness to take the last shot, fearlessness, great basketball IQ, etc. Consider this list to be the ultimate authority on the subject:
Peyton Siva (2006-2013)
kyra: As far as I’m aware, Peyton Siva has been at Louisville for Rick Pitino’s entire tenure at the school. He was a freshman when I was still in high school. He’s basically the successor to the next person on the list.
Scottie Reynolds (2000-2010)
kyra: I’m pretty sure Scottie Reynolds ran the Wildcat offense for an entire decade. What’s sad about Scottie is that he was Big East Rookie of the Year, made a Final Four, and at one point was considered a viable NBA point guard. Then he decided to keep coming back for more, and scouts realized he actually sucks. He was the first All-American to not be drafted since the NBA-ABA merger! Prolly should came out a year or two sooner buddy.
Wayne Chism (2002-2010)
Buckeye: Everyone remembers Wayne Chism as the guy with the headband that defied the laws of physics. Seriously, LOOK AT HIS HEADBAND. He was perfectly symbolic of the Bruce Pearl era: underdeveloped and unfulfilled talent rewarded by sharing the starting lineup with ultimate nepotism beneficiary Steven Pearl, who was a white player but nowhere near good enough to merit verbal fellatio from Len Elmore. Like Scottie, he also was not drafted.
JJ Redick (1997-2006)
kyra: Doesn’t it feel like the country hated JJ Redick for almost a decade? Him and his 3 missed free throws per season. It delighted me to no end when I penciled in his overseeded Dukies to lose in the Sweet 16 every year.
Gerry McNamara (1999-2006)
kyra: I am 100% confident that McNamara led magical Syracuse runs to the Big East Tournament Championship on at least 7 separate occasions. He definitely was in that 6 overtime game with UConn right?
Drew Neitzel (2001-2008)
Buckeye: Remember this weird looking dude with the extremely Aryan name? He scored a lot, shot well, good FT percentage, pretty much par for the course from a white guard leading your college basketball team. Much better MSU representative than Paul Davis, who was Barstool’s suggestion.
Taquan Dean (1998-2005)
kyra: I’m from Rhode Island and I was a PC fan growing up. I’m fairly positive that Taquan Dean played in every single PC-Louisville game for my entire childhood. He had a great and memorable name (pronounced Tie-kwon) and I actually thought he was pretty good. As a side note, I once saw him airball a shot early in the 2nd half and subsequently every time he touched the ball the crowd booed relentlessly. He didn’t score for the rest of the game.
Eric Devendorf (2003-2009)
kyra: Every time I saw this guy on the court I could only think of one thing: he punched a girl in the face. He had so many tattoos for a white guy also. True story: a girl friend who went to Syracuse got a Facebook message from him before she got to campus her freshman year saying she looked cute and he wanted to give her a private tour around campus. I do not know if this girl is alive today.
Robbie Hummel (2005-2012)
Buckeye: Firstly I want to note that Hummel was actually at Purdue for 5 years so this isn’t that much of an exaggeration. Even so, that 5 years feels like so much longer. Wasn’t he the guy who was supposed to lead Purdue back to glory? Too bad he spent his entire career in the training room.
Tyler Hansbrough (2000-2009)
kyra: I’m pretty sure Hansbrough’s mentality was that he was gonna stay at UNC until he won a title, even if it took him 10 years. Fun fact: his mom worked as a fundraiser for UNC but resigned after allegations emerged she took some trips with school funds.
Levance Fields (1997-2003)
kyra: Levance Fields convinced every basketball fan in the country that they could play D1 ball. He was short, fat, and slow. How the hell was he playing for Pitt? I saw him and thought to myself no team with this guy running the point is winning anything. I was right.
Buckeye: Ah, rosy-cheeked Aaron Craft. There is nobody who takes a charge as well as Aaron Craft, and we all know that nothing endears a white college point guard to the hearts and minds of announcers everywhere like taking a charge. He takes so many that in this year’s tournament against Iowa State some people thought he intentionally lifted his heel so that his shoe didn’t touch the charge circle, as if he was actually cognizable to the millimeter of where he was standing. Also, he wants to be a doctor! He played quarterback in high school! Next year’s his nominal senior year, but he’ll find a way to stretch that out. (Buckeye here to tell you that if there is one person in the world I could be for a day, I would choose Aaron Craft.)