Yes, I know it’s not very ladylike for a woman to say that they’re pissed off, but I am. Word just came out tonight that Devoe Joseph was suspended indefinitely for “off the court issues,” and I’m not a happy camper. Why? Because he’s better than that. When I first interviewed Devoe when he was still in high school, I was blown away by him:
Yes, a lot of players love basketball, but Devoe LOVES basketball. I spent $35 on our phone call (as it was an international call to Canada, and it was worth every penny!), and was beyond impressed by him. I left our talk so fired up that I told everyone that Devoe Joseph was the 1st recruit that ever loved basketball as much as I do, and he was our future. The fact that he would love to play a 66 game season excited me so much. On a personal level, Devoe has a smile on his face, gives you a hug, and you can tell he truly loves the game every time you speak to him. That’s why out of all the players on the team, Devoe is the last player I would expect to have off-the-court issues. From what I’ve been told, the issues are not academic or injury related, which makes them something that Devoe alone is responsible for. The Gophers had so many issues last year, and I thought the team had put the off-the-court problems behind them and could have a full, eligible roster; today proved me wrong.
I look at a kid like him that has aspirations for the NBA, or to at least play at the next level, and I wonder why would you ever do something to make yourself ineligible to play a game? That’s what truly upsets me, as a fan of Gopher Basketball, and a fan of Devoe Joseph.
When Al Nolen was academically ineligible last year, I admired the fact that Devoe stepped up. He’s clearly a player that’s better in the starting lineup than coming off the bench. Devoe earned the respect of most Gopher fans, and as our point guard, lead us to an NCAA appearance. He is coming off so much momentum from last season, and I thought the world was his oyster. Even speaking to him at Media day, you see a kid that’s working hard just to get starting spot on this very talented Gopher team.
Media Day Interview:
Now, a few weeks later, he is not only out for the Wofford game (which is not a joke; Wofford is a competitive team), you have someone that is going to be out for the entire Puerto Rico tournament. On top of that, it’s clear the Gophers have a lot to work on after the sub-par performance against Winona State. Devoe’s absence leaves the team with one player that can play the point (unless you count Mav Ahanmisi or Blake Hoffarber), in Al Nolen. What does that mean? We’re one injury away from having a lost season. I guess this wouldn’t be as big of a deal, if a Gopher Fan, like myself, didn’t have to sit through such an excruciating football season. I know I have put all of our eggs in one basket, and that basket was called Gopher Basketball, as many of you have as well. Is that Devoe Jospeh’s fault? No. But it just makes this hurt that much more. When it’s November and you’ve only won one football game against Middle Tennessee State, the wait for what looks to be a successful Gopher basketball season is borderline unbearable.
Yes, I know Devoe is only one player, but he is a crucial member of the team. The Gophers are not deep when it comes to point guard. Whatever you did to violate team rules, Devoe, I hope it was worth it. I know that we have the talent to make a run in March, but I just hope that our November and December games don’t prevent us from showing the world what we’ve got.