Sophomore guard Devoe Joseph has shown great improvement in his second
season wearing the Maroon and Gold. The Pickering, Ontario native has
upped his scoring average to 8.5 points per game from 5.0 as a
freshman and has seen his playing time increase by more than three
minutes per game.
A highly-recruited player out of high school, Joseph was a three-time
Canadian High School Player of the Year and has twice represented his
home country at the Canadian World Junior Championships.
Joseph has posted some memorable performances in his brief U of M
career including a 23-point outburst at Penn State last season that
keyed an important road conference win. Joseph set a school record by
hitting seven three-pointers in the game. Last week, Joseph proved
clutch for the Gophers as he led a 15-point second half comeback at
Indiana and forced the game into overtime with a fade away jumper in
the closing moments of regulation. His 19 points were a season-high
and led the Gophers.
Joseph sat down with Gopher Sports to discuss his junior career
playing in Canada and some of his favorite things about basketball and
playing for the Golden Gophers.
Q: You were a two-time member of the Canadian World Junior National
Team. What was it like to represent your home country?
A: It's always an honor to play for your country and represent your
country on a national scale. It was an amazing experience. I was able
to meet and play against different players from different countries
all around the world. We went to places like Serbia and Germany to
play and it was just a great, great experience.
Q: You went to high school just outside of Toronto. What was the
competition like for AAU and for your high school team?
A: Our AAU team (Grassroots Canada) played against different AAU teams
from the state, so it was great competition. We played in the big
tournaments in Pittsburgh and Las Vegas and played a lot of great
teams. I felt like our high school competition was at the same level
as the competition in the United States. We have a lot of top players
from Toronto that play at big, Division I schools around the country.
Q: Coming out of high school, you were a highly recruited player. What
made you choose to be a part of the University of Minnesota's
A: I loved the atmosphere here. Coach (Tubby) Smith was obviously a
big part of my decision, but I really wanted to be a part of this
program. I wanted to help bring this program back to where it used to
be in the old days.
Q: So be honest, is it colder in Minneapolis or Toronto?
A: It's a lot colder here, especially when the wind starts blowing.
If there was no wind, it would be about the same, but as soon as that
wind gets going, it gets real cold up here.
Q: Now that you are in your sophomore year, what is your favorite
thing to do in the Twin Cities?
A: I love to hang with the guys on the team. It's fun just to play
Rock Band and hang out.
Q: Where do you live on campus?
A: I live with (freshman) Dominique Dawson and we live at Wilkins Hall.
Q: And how about your favorite place to eat in Dinkytown?
A: I love Annie's, Chipotle, Qdoba, and McDonalds, but I love really
anything in Dinkytown. There is always a huge selection.
Q: It may be difficult to choose, but what is your favorite basketball
A: That would probably be hitting the game winner two years ago in the
high school championship. It was the 2008 Provincial Championship and
I'll never forget it.
Q: What are the team's expectations for the rest of the year? What
are your expectations as a player the rest of the year as well?
A: I think we have a great team. Our ultimate goal is to make the
tournament and go as deep as we can. For me, it's to contribute as
much as I can to our team goals.
Q: Your brother, Cory, is currently a senior at Pickering High School,
where you graduated two years ago. Who would win at a one-on-one
matchup right now?
A: Me, definitely. He has never been able to stop me at one-on-one.