Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hoops: Joseph maturing, and that's half the Battle

Toronto baller Devoe Joseph got the equivalent of a freshman paddling.

Joseph had a season-high 23 points, all in the second half (he made 7-of-8 three-point shots), for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a loss to Penn State that really put a crimp in their NCAA Tournament ambitions. He also had the ball ripped in the backcourt when his team was down by one in the final minute. Penn State's Talor Battle ended up getting a three-point play out of it, which iced the game.

A feature story on Joseph in today's Minny Star-Tribune that mentioned that he's had issues with turnovers (he has more giveaways than assists, never good for a guard), but he's been blossoming for Minnesota. The 23 points he scored across the final 20 minutes today was more than double his season high in any game this season and he's been pushing Gophers starting point guard Al Nolen for playing time.

Andy Rautins chipped in with 13 points in Syracuse's slump-snapping overtime win over Georgetown, so it was a pretty good day for Canadian ballers. The obvious hope would be that a few will be playing in the NCAA Tournament, which would give the national media more of a hook.

Settling into role part of U freshman's education (Myron P. Medcalf, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

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