This is part one of a two part in depth conversation that I had the opportunity of having with Louisville point guard Peyton Siva on Father’s day. I first wanted to talk about Peyton’s summer plans as he has been a busy guy and he had the opportunity to train with some of the best players in both the NBA and college hoops.
His first stop of the off season took Peyton to Texas and the Dallas Mavericks training facility. He along with University of Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas was invited to down to Big D to train with fellow Seattle native Jason Terry in advance of the Western Conference Finals. Peyton says that he wanted to get some help improving his total game.
“It was good. I wanted to work on getting more consistency on my jumpshot so I went down (to Dallas) with Isaiah Thomas. And who better to train with than Jason Terry and it was great. We worked hard and we learned a lot so it was really great,” said Siva. “It was really amazing the amount of work he put in with us. Especially during the playoffs guys usually tend to relax and not do too much, but he was in the gym everyday with us. He shot jumpers with us and broke down each of our jumpshots and helped us the whole time.”
Of course Terry and the Mavericks would go on to make the NBA Finals and defeat the Miami Heat to win the first title in franchise history. Terry was a huge part of Dallas’ success in the finals and seeing how well he played on the biggest stage had a big impact on Siva.
“Just seeing him go out there and make the shots we worked on and he was consistent with it. The shots he practiced were the shots that he took in the game. It just really just drove home the point that a lot of guys talk about shooting and show you little techniques, but to see him to go out there and do it was a whole different thing,” said Siva.
Peyton who as a senior at Seattle Franklin High School shot 37% from 3 point range as well as 83% from the free throw line. While his free throw shooting has been a constant issue he shot a very good 40% from 3 point range as a freshman at Louisville before dropping to 27% as a sophomore. What does Peyton attribute those struggles to?
“I just had a bad year shooting the ball and a lot of it had a lot to do with confidence. Last year I really just focused on really becoming a better point guard and really trying to learn more about the pick and roll situations,” said Siva. “I concentrated on really taking it to the hole and kicking out and that is what I really worked on, but this summer I am really concentrating on my jump shooting.”
So has the training and shooting drills from Terry helped Peyton see some improvement so far?
“I can really see some improvement and a couple of my teammates have really noticed my improvement as well. It is really good to go out there and knock down some shots then it carries over to open gym. To go out there and see all that hard work paying off is a real blessing,” said Siva.
Peyton’s second stop of the summer took him to South Beach but not for the Sun and surf, but to train with some of college basketball’s elite guards at the prestigious CP3 camp host by Hornet’s all-star point guard Chris Paul.
“That was also a really good experience down at CP3 camp. I got the opportunity to work with Chris Paul one of the best point guards in the NBA was great. We worked a lot on changing speeds and getting in the lane taking those floaters and runners. That is something else I wanted to add to my game is not going fast all the time and changing it up and keeping the defense off balance as well as adding the floater as well,” said Siva. “Chris Paul told us a good story about how he was fourth in the league in free throws is first two seasons but how his body could not take all the punishment in the lane. So once he added that floater he got to stay away from a lot of that wear and tear. That is something that I think would help me from taking all those unnecessary hits by adding that runner and floater it will help me out.”
It is a great honor to be selected to play at the camp and Peyton was training alongside of some of the best players in college basketball. Guys like North Carolina duo Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall and Duke teammates Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry.
“I knew a lot of the guys out there and I knew what a lot of those guys could do. I got to be out there with Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche from Syracuse, Kenny Boynton from Florida, and Jordan Taylor from Wisconsin was my roommate at the camp,” said Siva. “I got to see that those guys were out there working hard and they had some things in their game that is may not have had as a part of what I do. So the thing that I want to do is to take a little bit from what they do and try to add it to my game.”
Coming in part two of my in depth conversation with Peyton Siva we will discuss the prospects for the upcoming season, the UK game, as well as the NBA and more! Stay Tuned!