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NC State Basketball

Jarkel Joiner: "They know I can score"

August 5, 2022
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NC State men's basketball guard Jarkel Joiner sat down with the media on Friday to discuss how he's getting acclimated to the team, the coaching staff, what his role will be and much more.

Note: Click the video in the player above to watch the press conference.


On what he’s looking forward to on the Bahamas trip…

Mostly the team bonding. We’re only gonna play two games to learn how we play with each other. Mostly looking forward to off the court stuff, learning about each other. Being around each other all the time you get to learn new things about the new guys you’re playing with. Not even just the players but the coaches too. It’s gonna be good for us.

On how much he thinks he’s gelled with the team…

Oh it’s been going great, especially with the coaches. I’ve been with Levi [Watkins] for going on four years now. Then coach [Kareem Richardson] I’ve got history with. I played against coach Rich when I was at Cal State. It’s been easy gelling with the team, they’re outgoing and fun. We love hanging around each other, we hang out with each other off the court playing video games together. It’s been fun.

On what stood out as a good fit with NC State…

They’re hard working and have a championship DNA. Coach Levi won a lot of games here going to the NCAA Tournament two times. He never let me not hear about that, he always motivated me. Coach Rich is always talking about how he beat me more than I beat him. Getting to know coach Joel [Justus], coach [Kevin] Keatts, it’s been fun.

On what it’s like sharing a backcourt with Terquavion Smith…

It’s amazing, man. He’s a very talented player, he’s gonna be a lottery pick next year. If we do what we gotta do, then we’re gonna win a lot of games.

On how he’s enjoyed NC State’s campus and the city of Raleigh…

It’s been cool. I don’t do much anyways, so I’m just waiting for school to start. I’ve heard the football games are a good atmosphere, so I’m ready to see that. I’m just ready for school to start to see how it really gets.

On if the team can sneak up on some people this year…

Definitely. Like coach [Kevin Keatts] said, we just work. We don’t like to talk about it much. We’re just gonna put our heads down and work every single day.

On what his role on the team will be…

Being a leader as the point guard, a glue guy. That’s what they told me they brought me in for. Mostly leadership because they know I can score, they know what I do. Holding the team accountable, gelling the team together. Just being that guy that calms everyone down in the storm when we’re going through adversity. Being someone they can look to, not even just to get a bucket, but to control the team. I feel like that’s what coach Keatts and the staff expressed to me a lot.

On his perception of the ACC…

It’s the best conference in college basketball. You go against pros every night. It’s really competitive basketball.

On what he’s looking forward to outside of basketball on the Bahamas trip…

Snorkeling. I’m ready to do that, I’ve never done that before. I went to the Bahamas my freshman year at Cal State. I didn’t go snorkeling but I went jet skiing and stuff and that was fun.

On how important team success is this year…

It’s very important. I’ve never been to the NCAA Tournament. There’s nothing like the tournament. You always hear about how fun it is, how great the experience is. The best part about basketball is playing in March, and I want to play in March in the NCAA Tournament.

On his relationship with assistant coach Levi Watkins…

That’s my guy, we’re really close. He’s always gonna push me. The first day I met him, I was at Ole Miss for my sit out year and I guess his son said he was in the basketball camp at one of the facilities on campus. And he walked up to me and said, ‘Can you play basketball, man?’ I said, ‘Why’d y’all bring me here if I can’t play basketball?’ It just went on from there, we’re always talking junk to each other. He always knows what’s best for me. He’s probably one of the hardest coaches on me and I love him to death.

On how much the coaching staff’s cohesion helps the team…

It helps a lot. They don’t just focus on one position, everybody talks to everybody. That’s a big thing, not just coaching positions. Because they see everything, they’ve been through it and have a lot of experience. They know what the guards are doing, what the forwards are doing. They can tell us what we’re doing wrong and need to fix.

 
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