Raw Video: Peyton Siva on his Syracuse slump - click here
NEW YORK --- The defending Big East Tournament MVP is back in the Big East Championship, but Peyton Siva's nemesis awaits.
Playing Syracuse has been about as enjoyable as a root canal for Louisville's senior point guard, and the numbers back that up.
In five games where he has played meaningful minutes against the Orange, Siva just has not been able to score efficiently, averaging 4.6 points per game, shooting 22.9% from the field, and has made just 2 of his 21 three-point attempts. That's less than 10% from beyond the arc.
It culminated March 2nd at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse with Rick Pitino opting for Kevin Ware down the stretch, after Siva was held scoreless for just the second time since his sophomore year, going 0-9 from the field (8 of those three-point attempts).
Combine that with numbers from a home loss to the 'Cuse this year, and Siva is shooting 1-18 against the Orange in two games this season alone.
"I haven't had any good games against them," said Siva after Friday night's win over Notre Dame in the Big East semifinals. "Somebody asked me if it hurt coach for him to take me out (at Syracuse), but whatever's best for the team...I just haven't made shots (against the Orange). That's all it is for me."
Siva admitted to settling for too many threes in the last meeting at Syracuse, a 58-53 Louisville win, but also noted that he did have 4 assists and 0 turnovers.
Distributing the ball has not been nearly as bad as Siva's shooting against Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone, averaging 4.8 assists to 3.2 turnovers in those five games against Syracuse.
Rick Pitino equated it to when he had Billy Donovan at Providence. Even "Billy the Kid" didn't play well against Syracuse. "It's the only team," Pitino said.
Here's the stat line on Siva's last five games against the Orange (most recent first):
0 pts, 0-9 FG (0-8 3FG), 4 assists, 0 turnovers
3 pts, 1-9 FG (1-7 3FG), 6 turnovers, 3 assists
4 pts, 1-2 FG (0-1 3FG), 4 assists, 6 turnovers
8pts, 3-5 FG (1-2 3FG), 4 assists, 5 turnovers
8pts, 3-10 FG (0-2 3FG), 6 assists, 2 turnovers
Conference tournaments have a way of offering the opportunity to erase some of the low points during the regular season. Against the one team the defending Big East Tournament MVP has struggled against, Peyton Siva gets one more shot to crack the zone.
Siva will already go down as one of the greats at Louisville, but Saturday night inside Madison Square Garden is where he gets a last chance to erase the one blemish on his resume.