LOUISVILLE — Peyton Siva takes to heart the adage that college can mark the best time of one's life.
The senior point guard on Louisville's second-ranked team thought about leaving after last season.
"It crossed my mind," Siva said. "We just came off a great year and a great Final Four run. But I thought it was best for me to come back, and we had a great team coming back. And I'm so close to graduating school, why not finish it out and have another year of playing with my teammates?
"You don't want to grow up. Adult life sucks," he said with a smile. "I don't have bills to pay, I eat free food at the dorm and I'm just 'living the life' right now."
Living the life, having fun and staying humble.
Ask him about being named pre-season Player of the Year in the Big East and he'll tell you he's honored. That it is merely an opinion, he says. And, he adds, no pre-season POY has won the year-end award for eight seasons.
He is U of L's leader off and on the floor.
"Peyton is a great player. He's been in the program for a long time so he knows what Coach P (Rick Pitino) wants, how he wants it done," Cardinals freshman Montrezl Harrell said. "He's a great guy. He does everything that you're supposed to do as a person. ... Peyton is just an overall ideal guy that you want to be the face of your program."
Siva, who is of Samoan descent, led his Franklin High School team in Seattle to a pair of state titles. He was named Mr. Basketball in Washington and was a McDonald's All-American.
His high school days also marked the beginning of a hobby of the body — tattoos.
He has a bunch.
"I've got my brother and sister's name, my mom's name, one of my favorite Bible scriptures — 'I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me,'" Siva said.
This from the Most Outstanding Player in last season's Big East tourney, an NCAA West Region all-tournament team pick and Big East Scholar-Athlete Excellence Award winner. (He has a 3.41 grade-point average in sociology.)
With 73 consecutive starts for the Cards, Siva is coming off a season in which he averaged 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals a game. He shot 40.2 percent from the field, and 24.6 percent from three-point range.
He knew what he needed to work on over the summer. He went to two camps and spent many hours on the court.
"Just staying on balance, getting into my shot correctly," he said of his focus. "Watching a lot of game film and just studying different point guards and their tendencies and how they move on the court. Just things I can always use to improve my game."
He says he'll play more under control this season, avoiding "silly" fouls.
He'll need to stay healthy.
Siva sprained his left ankle during a mid-November practice last season.
That caused him to miss two games, and he says "it wasn't until towards the end of the year where I really started getting healthy and I really started getting the confidence back."
He was at his best at the end, averaging 11.3 points, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals in nine post-season games.
Of course, the Cards would have loved to have played a 10th post-season game, for an NCAA title.
Siva says he wants more, but he's looking only a game at a time.
He has faith.
In himself. In his team. And in his Christian faith, as symbolized by his uniform number: 3.
"Number 3 is the Trinity — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," Siva said. "Just knowing that I wouldn't be nowhere without God, and I just thank Him for every moment of it."
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com