And that advice might not have been what you think.
After March's run to the Final Four, point guard Peyton Siva, who struggled for much of the season but was suddenly riding a high of postseason success, sat down and considered his basketball future. After guiding his team to a hard-fought near-takedown of Kentucky in the national semifinals -- a one-possession game deep into the second half, which stands as a legitimate accomplishment against the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats -- wouldn't now be the best time for Siva to turn pro? The NBA draft was short on point guards, and Siva's value may have been peaking. Then again, he was never considered a first-round draft pick -- if he was slated to be drafted at all.
So Siva reached out to a former Louisville player he knew could understand his predicament. According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Edgar Sosa's advice for Siva was not necessarily what either player might have expected:
Sosa, a former U of L point guard, dabbled with the idea of riding the momentum from the end of his freshman season right into the draft. Siva had built some steam thanks to a stellar postseason and felt a parallel to Sosa’s situation. “He asked me, ‘If you could do it again as a freshman knowing the way your career played out, would you have entered?’ ” Sosa said.
On one hand, Sosa told him, you have to “strike while the iron is hot.” In retrospect, Sosa said he would have at least “tested the waters” after his freshman year before making a decision to turn pro.
But with the team that the Cardinals have coming back next season, Sosa told Siva he should return. Sosa said team success also matters in the draft. [...]
You would think, given Sosa's experience, that there would be an almost instinctual reaction borne of experience. Sosa may have waited too long on his NBA draft window; it is hardly unusual to see freshman (especially freshman guards) reach the height of their NBA draft stock early in their college careers, never to repeat it again. (Kalin Lucas and Demetri McCamey come to mind, but there are plenty of others.)
But let's be honest: Siva really isn't in that position, because his chances of earning a spot on an NBA roster this summer were always pretty slim. For all of his strengths (defense, speed, transition passing), this is still a 5-foot-11 player who shot 24.6 percent from 3 in 2012 and just 0.686 points per possession on his 210 possessions in the high pick and roll, according to Synergy Sports scouting data. If there are two things undersized NBA point guards have to do (word to Ty Lawson), it is a) shoot the 3 and b) score out of the pick and roll. Siva did neither particularly well last season. His offense -- offensive rating: 91.9 -- labored as a result.
Rather than throw himself at the mercy of a few months of evaluation, Siva now has a chance to spend all summer in Louisville's facilities, working on one of the few things (shooting) players can actively improve in their offseasons. There is always a whiff of lost upside to players, particularly veterans, who decide to stay in college for one more season. But in Siva's case, all the upside lies with another year at Louisville -- both for his team and as a future NBA hopeful.