Since the prevailing opinion around this site seems to be that the Cardinal/Mayan apocalypse is nigh, I decided to write my first post here about a player we not only know will be donning red this winter, but will be awesome when he does it.
It has been a while since there has been a progression in the game of one player in one year like we saw from Peyton Siva in 2010-2011. Here is a rundown of his stats from both his years at UofL, and an attempt at a projection for his junior campaign.
If Siva was to enjoy the same jump in scoring from his first year to his second, that would project him at around 25 ppg. I doubt seriously that will happen, but I do expect him to be around 15 ppg. Of course it is not important how much he scores, but at what percentage he shoots. Which leads to--
FG % 3 PT %
2009-2010 43% 40%
2010-2011 45% 27%
Siva's field goal percentage rose two points despite shooting a woeful 27% behind the arc. Siva was a good shooter in high school and in his first year at UofL, so these numbers seem destined to improve. I would expect the 3 point percentage to be in the high 30s and the overall percentage to raise a couple points. Rumor has it he is taking tips from Jason Terry of the Mavs, and that can't hurt.
It is imperative for a point guard to shoot well at the line, and as much as I heard fans moan and groan at the Yumbucket every time he missed one, this category makes me very optimistic. Siva will not suddenly become Steve Nash at the stripe, but if he improves at this rate and goes up another seven points to 75%, I would consider that a resounding success.
APG A/T Ratio
2009-10 1.8 1.22
2010-11 5.2 1.8
The assists per game, like points, went up due to Siva's increased playing time more than anything else. It is nice to see the improvement in the assist to turnover ratio, though. Siva will not have gaudy assist numbers in Pitino's system because it is often the second or third pass that creates the score. However, don't be surprised if he gets a few double doubles this year. I expect his APG to rise to 6, and his A/T ratio to be nearing 3 as he becomes a smarter and more disciplined player.
Last year, Siva averaged 2 steals per game. He is a great defender because of his aggressive, gambling style. However, he fouled out of four games and had four fouls in six others. We have even less support at the backup point this year than last, so Siva will have to stop committing so many fouls to keep us in games. I have no doubt he will do that.
I expect Siva to be the MVP of this team. The freshman to sophomore jump is where players usually experience the most improvement, so to expect the same progression is probably unreasonable. But damn, will he be good. First Team Big East good. And hopefully good enough to lead the cards back to the Final Four.
Beyond that, as long as Siva continues to improve his shooting and decision-making, I think he will be in the NBA after his junior or (hopefully for us) his senior year. While watching the Lakers v. Mavs series, I could not help but think of PS3 whenever J.J. Barea was on the court, slicing through the lane with no apparent direction, only to kick it out to an open three point shooter, or finish at the bucket with a ridiculous circus shot.
GO CARDS! and despite reaching the word limit, SCREW FLANDERS!