Yahoo! Sports’ Mike Huguenin is continuing his preseason countdown of all things college basketball and today he chronicles his top ten duo’s. Louisville’s Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan check in at #2. I’m not nitpicking here (well, I am, sort of) because it’s definitely nice to be getting this type of love on a national site, however, I’m not real sure how you leave out Gorgui Dieng. Behanan certainly came on strong late last year and his regional MOP performance was an eye-opener, but the rate at which Dieng continues to improve makes you wonder just how good he can be this coming season. He’s probably the front-runner for Big East defensive player of the year (he should have won it last year, too) and his offensive post game has been constantly evolving. Now, I’m not saying Behanan isn’t ready to bust out in his own regard, but I just see Dieng as the more important cog in the Louisville wheel. Anyway, here’s the excerpt and you can read the entire piece here.
The duo: G Peyton Siva and F Chane Behanan
The buzz: Siva is jet-quick with the ball and might be the fastest point guard in the nation. His quickness allows him to into the lane – and to the rim – against anyone, but he sometimes has trouble finishing. His poor outside shooting hurts, too, as his 3-point percentage has dropped each season (it was a measly 24.6 percent last season). In addition, Siva too often is out of control, one reason he averaged 3.4 turnovers in 2011-12. Still, for all his faults, he is a good leader who understands what coach Rick Pitino wants. Pitino is tough on his point guards, but Siva can handle it. He also is a big-time defensive pest. If he can improve his outside shot, his forays to the rim become even more dangerous. As it is, opposing guards have become more and more content to let him fire away; if they are forced to guard him on the perimeter, watch him put the ball on the floor and get into the lane.
Behanan certainly wouldn’t mind that, as he would be the recipient of even more Siva assists. Behanan is a bit undersized for a true power forward (he’s 6 feet 6 but also 245 pounds), and while he had some growing pains last season as a freshman, he hit his stride down the stretch. He is a great low-post scorer and knows how to carve out space for himself, which also helps him on the boards. Behanan put up too many 3-pointers early last season, but that changed as the season progressed; he attempted 36 3-pointers, but just 10 attempts came after mid-January. He must improve his free-throw shooting, but he and center Gorgui Dieng are going to be tough to handle for any opposing frontcourt.