February 27, 2013

Column: Peyton Siva deserves Academic All-American award

By Randy Whetstone Jr.–

Peyton Siva averages six assists per game. Earlier this year, he reached the 1,000 point scoring milestone.

The point guard position is arguably the most important role on the basketball court.  It serves as the core, nucleus and foundation of the offense. Every coach loves to have a floor general that operates as the coach on the court. Men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino has found this in senior guard Peyton Siva.

Siva has evolved tremendously in his collegiate career. His growth in leadership has been immeasurable for Louisville men’s basketball. The transcendence in his basketball skill has come from dedication and commitment. He has followed the commission of his role as point guard over the course of four years, and those leadership abilities have filtered into his classroom performance. Peyton Siva was named to the 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-America Division 1 Men’s Basketball Team.

Siva majors in Sociology and is the second selection ever from the University of Louisville men’s basketball program to the Academic All-America team. Siva made the second team for the Academic All-America team, while Aaron Craft of Ohio State, Mason Plumlee of Duke, Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga, and Cody Zeller of Indiana were members of the first team.

This achievement by Siva can be used as a model for college athletes around the country. Every coach dreams of having a player of great talent as well as a student-athlete who takes their academics seriously. This achievement is another component Siva can add to his resume. His leadership and passion add to his character. He embraces the opportunities to be the best basketball player and student he can be.

In this era of Division 1 college basketball, the fad has been to go to school for one year, and then declare for the NBA Draft. The issue that accompanies this trend has been the lack of zeal for students to take their studies serious. Siva has worked to off-set those statistics by being a McDonald’s All-American, and by taking the initiative to be focused in all academic areas.

During his time at the University of Louisville, Siva has earned a 3.37 cumulative grade point average. This demonstrates his combination of his mental and physical framework, which will speak volumes to underclassmen and incoming recruits. The notion would be to set a trend to engender academic productivity for student-athletes in the future.

The Cardinals’ point guard averages 6.1 assists a game — the third highest in the Big East. His 2.1 steals per game is also third in the conference. Earlier in the 2012-13 season, he became the Cardinals’ 64th player to make the 1,000-point scoring club. His 607 career assists ranks second all-time at U of L, and all he needs is twelve steals to pass Darrell Griffith for the school record. Siva is one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. Peyton Siva added an additional milestone last Saturday during the Seton Hall game with his 100th career start.

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Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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