Freshman guard goes far, fills out stat sheet

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Cory Joseph doesn’t get tired. He can play all night.

On Wednesday, he did.

“He can play forever,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes.

The freshman played 37 of 40 minutes in Wednesday’s 89-58 win over Louisiana Tech. Though his line score may not look too impressive at first glance, Joseph contributed plenty in only his second collegiate game.

“There’s nothing he can’t do,” Barnes said. “There’s not one part of the game he does not understand.”

While Joseph shot only three for nine from the field for eight points, he tied for a team-high seven rebounds and added four assists and four steals.

When his shot isn’t falling, there are other places where Joseph contributes.

“I try to impact on my ability to create for the other guys,” Joseph said. “I try to rebound and do whatever it takes for the team win.”

Joseph, who only scored five points in the season opener on Monday, isn’t getting too down about his struggles to score.

“It doesn’t affect me that much,” he said. “People have bad days. People have good days.”

In his senior year of high school, Joseph averaged 18.8 points a game.

There to see it all was former high school teammate Tristan Thompson who had a little advice for him.

“You got to keep shooting,” Thompson said. “Shooters always go through slumps.”

While Joseph may consider this a bad game, his coach sees no such thing.

“He never has a bad day,” Barnes said. “He will make some mistakes, but it won’t be because of a lack of effort. He will keep getting better, better and better.”

His hard-work attitude is one way that he will keep improving. Joseph has been receiving praise throughout this early season for the effort he puts in at the gym and during practice, becoming notorious for his ability to finish in first place in every wind sprint.

His speed maybe hurt him Wednesday as he took it to the basket a little too quickly, forcing the ball to go off the rim a little too hard.

There were times where Barnes would have preferred to see Joseph kick it out to the wing and other times when he wished he shot the ball, but those are all situations that both are confident will get worked out.
“He’s capable of doing whatever he needs to do,” Thompson said.

Barnes does see room for improvement for Joseph in becoming more of a vocal leader but is pleased with what he has seen so far.

“He’s two games in and he has already done a lot of terrific things for us,” Barnes said.