NCAA Q&A: Kris Joseph, Syracuse


Kris Joseph drives to the basket in a Big East quarterfinal against Connecticut earlier this month. (Jim McIsaac/GETTY IMAGES)
March 13, 2012

High school: Carroll, 2008 graduate

College: Syracuse

Vitals: 6-7, Sr., F

Season: The first-team all-Big East choice averages 13.8 points and 4.9 rebounds and has been named one of 15 finalists for the Wooden Award and one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Award.

Fact: Joseph, a second-team All-Met as a senior, moved to the Washington area from Montreal before his junior year in high school to play a more competitive brand of basketball and to raise his recruiting profile. Older brother Maurice played at Michigan State and Vermont.


Kris Joseph (right), now a star at Syracuse, stands with Rodney McGruder (left), a standout at Kansas State, during a Dec. 2007 game at Carroll. (Preston Keres/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Opening matchup: Syracuse (31-2) vs. UNC-Asheville (24-9) at 3:10 p.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh. (Interactive bracket)

Best high school basketball memory: “When we first played DeMatha, because going into the WCAC I remember everyone saying DeMatha was the powerhouse and they had guys like Austin Freeman, Kenny Tate, Chris Braswell. Highly touted guys. The game was at DeMatha and I remember seeing the crowd there, and the atmosphere was crazy. Coming from Canada, I’d not seen an atmosphere like that for high school basketball.” Joseph scored 19 points in his first game against DeMatha in a 68-61 loss.

Favorite high school gym other than Carroll’s: “I liked playing at O’Connell. Their student section was always fun. I liked the way the gym was set up. It was almost like a mid-major college type of game. They had Kendall Marshall, Jason Clark. We had some pretty good games.”

Most embarrassing high school basketball moment: “Summer league playing DeMatha going into senior year. I get a steal and it’s me and the basket on a fast break. The defenders had already given up because I was way ahead of them. I went up for a dunk and my knee buckled. I missed the whole basket. At least it was summer league, but there were still a lot of people in attendance.”

Favorite high school victory: “Junior year against McNamara, at McNamara. I had to have at least 30 points or so because the game went into overtime. That was just a fun game to be part of. The fans were really involved, both teams played extremely hard and we came out on top.” According to the Post box score notes from that game, Joseph sank a three-pointer from near halfcourt with fourth-tenths of a second remaining for a 70-67 OT victory. Joseph racked up 30 points 14 rebounds, 10 assists, 7 steals and 2 blocks.

Best player you faced in high school: “Austin Freeman was definitely one of the toughest offensive players to guard in the league. You can’t really tell by looking at him, but he could jump out of the gym, shoot the ball, put it on the floor. He was really a tough check.”

Best piece of basketball advice that you got in high school: “I was a player who sometimes would force the issue a little too much and it wouldn’t necessarily always be the right play to make. One of our assistant coaches, [Marcellus Venable], told me to let the game come to you and take what the defense gives you. If they give you the shot, don’t drive if they’re playing three feet in front of you.”

High school loss that stung the most: “When we lost to Gonzaga [68-57] in the semifinals of the WCAC tournament my senior year. That was tough. It was a tight game all the way through. That was my last game. I really wanted to win to get any chance of trying to win a WCAC championship, and they took that away from us. That was pretty emotional that day.”

Piece of advice for high school players: “Enjoy it. Love the game. Play every game like it’s your last. Leave it all out on the floor when you go out there. You never know who’s watching. Play hard and let people know you’re a hard worker.”

What do you miss most about high school basketball: “The road trips to the other gyms. In high school, it’s all fun at that point. With a bunch of high school friends just climbing on the bus, that’s the thing I miss the most. Being with your teammates and those bonding moments.”

Best thing about college basketball: “You never know what can happen, especially in the Big East, where a team at the bottom of the conference can beat a top team in the conference.”

Worst thing about college basketball: “I wouldn’t say there’s anything too bad about it. Probably all the makeup work you have to do if you miss a couple days of school.”

When you hear the words March Madness, what immediately springs to mind: “‘One Shining Moment.’ That’s something I want to be a part of, and something I hope to be a part of this coming March Madness.”

More at AllMetSports.com

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Chart: List of local players in NCAA men’s tournament

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