Arkansas freshman shooting guard Isaiah Joe is second on the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) and first in three point shooting (45.5 %) through his first 12 collegiate games.
Recently the Fort Smith native sat down with Alyssa Orange to talk about his time so far as a Razorback as well as his thoughts on what it has been like playing with this young Arkansas basketball team.
Here is a portion of the one on one interview:
Alyssa Orange ” Isaiah you know just first and foremost, how much fun are you having this year? You guys are playing well and you’re playing well. Seems like you’ve got your shot down and just having fun out there. How’s it been?”
Isaiah Joe ” It’s been amazing. Being able to play the game that I love with my friends. The fans the coaches, it’s just the best atmosphere.”
Alyssa “Is this what Arkansas basketball was what you thought it was when you signed on to play here and got ready for the season?”
Joe “This is everything I’ve been looking forward to. It has not failed at all. Just being on the court, having the fans around like I said before, the energy it’s amazing. So just doing what I love in this type of environment is just great.”
Alyssa “You know Andy Kennedy who used to coach at Ole Miss said on the SEC Network the other day that he’d never heard of Isaiah Joe. But how impressed he was with how easily you have stepped in to college basketball and been able to play so well. The way that you’re playing, you’re kind of a surprise to people who didn’t know about you. But you’re not a surprise to yourself. Has this come naturally stepping in to college basketball?”
Joe ” I mean I’ve always been sort of under the radar growing up. Just staying humble about where I come from, what I do, how I play. Just getting better each and every day. I hope at the end of the journey I open up a lot of eyes and get to reach out to a lot of people.”
Alysaa ” You’ve started every game so far. That starting role, you embracing that and what is your role when you step on to this court every single time that you start a game.”
Joe “Well first we’re a defensive minded team. We always want to have that defensive energy, get stops first, offense will come. But you know just having energy on the court. Hustle pays, running up and down the court. Then offense will come, teammates will find me. J5, his assist to turnover ratio is incredible so he knows how to find his teammates and we’ll knock down shots.”
Alyssa “How much do you guys feed off each other. Maybe if you’re off a little bit, Mason’s hitting it and now you’re hitting it. Or Jalen is being able to make some offense happen if the offense isn’t there. How much do you guys really play off each other?”
Joe ” We play off each other a lot. It’s like an assembly line. We go through one player, it just goes. everybody’s going to get fed, everybody’s going to get theirs. Like I said Jalen is probably the best man for the job to get that done.”
Alyssa ” It’s early but your parents being in Fort Smith I’m sure they’ve come up and seen you play. How proud are they of you and just what you’ve been able to accomplish early as a freshman. But being able to wear the Razorback like they did.”
Joe “They’re very proud. I came from a good background my family is great. Both of them came up here so being able to follow in their footsteps it’s amazing. So I’m proud of them and they’re proud of me.”
Alyssa “The ceiling for this team as SEC play starts and I’m sure you guys know the SEC is very very competitive this year.”
Joe “The ceiling it very high. Higher than people may know. But we have great time, a lot of growth that we can get through. Once we get everything together get all the pieces together, I think we’re in for a great future.”
Joe and the Razorbacks return to the court on Saturday at 5 p.m. in College Station, Texas as the Hogs open up SEC play against the Texas A&M Aggies with the game airing on the SEC Network.