Peyton Siva, Wayne Blackshear, Russ Smith, Louisville basketball, The Ville TBT

The Ville is a Louisville alumni team and could be a darkhorse to win The Basketball Tournament in 2023.

It’s hard to believe Louisville never put together a team in The Basketball Tournament until now, but The Ville is finally here. Stacked with some legendary Cardinals players, they have a serious chance to win six straight games and earn the $1 million prize.

For more TBT team profiles, click here.

Current Roster:

  • Chane Behanan (Louisville)
  • Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville)
  • Chris Dowe (Bellarmine)
  • Dillon Avare (Louisville & Eastern Kentucky)
  • Kyle Kuric (Louisville)
  • Luke Hancock (Louisville)
  • Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky)
  • Omar Prewitt (William & Mary)
  • Peyton Siva (Louisville)
  • Rakeem Buckles (Louisville & FIU)
  • Russ Smith (Louisville)
  • Wayne Blackshear (Louisville)

Coaching Staff:

  • Aurelio Puga (Asst. Coach)
  • Cole McKeel (Asst. Coach)
  • Jordan Sucher (GM)
  • Keith Oddo (Asst. Coach)
  • Mark Lieberman (Head Coach)
  • Mike Stone (Asst. Coach)
  • Ronnie Taylor (GM & Asst. Coach)
  • Terrence Commodore (Asst. Coach)


  • Louisville, Kentucky

Team MVP: Peyton Siva

Of course, there were a few great options to pick here, but I’ve got to go with the point guard who worked wonders with the Cards. Siva was never a major scorer, but his playmaking, ball control, and defense were outstanding. He also helped lead the Cards to the 2013 championship, so winning a 64-team tournament is right up Siva’s alley.

It’s been over a decade since then, but Siva has remained consistent as a pro. He was the EuroCup Top Scorer in 2019 and a Basketball Bundesliga champion in 2020 and 2021. Siva’s NBA hopes were dashed after two seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic, so winning a TBT title would be an awesome way to make people remember how big of a college star he was.

Make-or-break Player: Luke Hancock

Hancock was the perfect sidekick on that 2013 championship team, and will likely hold a similar role in TBT. The forward’s scoring was heavily reliant on the three-point line and the same should be true in this tournament. On a team with a lot of stars, Hancock will have to pick and choose when to let it fly, but my guess is he hits some pretty big shots with the pressure on.

Hancock only played professionally for one season after college, so he might have lost some of his game. But if he can make some big shots, it’ll make that part even better.

Team Outlook

Remember how dominant Louisville was during the early and mid-2000s? Well, that’s pretty much the makeup of The Ville in TBT. They are one of the few alumni teams that were able to bring back some actual stars, like Siva, Smith, Onuaku, Hancock, and Blackshear.

The 6-10 Onuaku will have to stay out of foul trouble because the next taller player is Nick Mayo at 6-8. 6-7 Rakeem Buckles will also be key in the paint.

I am a fan of The Ville, even though they are undersized. Siva and Smith form one of the best backcourts in TBT that could explode for points in an instance. Watch out for The Ville to make a splash in year one.

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