Athlete of the Week: Joseph leads the charge
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After sitting and watching from the Spurs bench for much of his rookie season, Corey Joseph came to the Austin Toros with a clear mission.
"They just wanted me to come down here, get playing time, get experience and control my team, [basically just] try to just get better at all the point guard qualities," he said.
Joseph responded by giving the Toros quality minutes, averaging about 15 points per game over the last month of the season.
"He's really picked up his game. The fundamental work they've done with him in San Antonio, as far as giving him confidence in his shot and where he gets his shot, has been a terrific thing for him. He's really grown and kind of become a leader on the court for us," Toros Head Coach Brad Jones said.
In three separate stints with Toros, Joseph's game grew both offensively and defensively. He emerged as a key scorer and set-up man heading into the team's playoff push. He's also being pushed in practice by former Longhorn point guard TJ Ford, a familiar Spurs face who's now a volunteer assistant coach on the Toros staff.
"You know, at the end of the day, it's just trying to help him progress and help become a better basketball player. It's a matter of him taking whatever he gets from it and using it," Ford said.
Eventually, Joseph plans to use the knowledge at the NBA level. For now, it's good enough to command the Toros run at a D-League title.
“It’s very valuable, just learning the game, playing. There’s nothing like game experience. You can do as many workouts as you want, but at the end of the day when you play the game, it’s really different,” Joseph said.
The Toros play a decisive game three of their first-round playoff series against Erie Monday night at the Cedar Park Center.