It didn’t take long for Devoe Joseph to make a name for himself in Eugene. After sitting out the season’s first six games in keeping with NCAA rules, the senior Minnesota transfer has eased comfortably into a leading role and averages a team-high 14.9 points per game. Joseph’s crisp .422 three-point percentage ranks behind only Garrett Sim (.465), and his 28 combined points this past weekend helped Oregon to its first road sweep of the Arizona schools since 2006. The Emerald caught up with the Toronto native before practice on Tuesday to talk basketball, life in Eugene, movies and music.
ODE: You had to sit out a few games, but now that you’re playing, are you starting to feel more comfortable with the team and your role?
DJ: Oh, definitely. You know, it’s been, I think, 12 games now that I’ve been back, so I definitely feel pretty comfortable. I knew that it was a short time I was going to have to play this season. So I knew I had to be quick to get comfortable.
And what about Eugene, how have you been adjusting to living here?
It’s definitely different (than) everywhere else I’ve been — Toronto is a pretty big city, Minneapolis is semi-big. It’s a smaller place, but I definitely like it. It’s a change, and the weather is a lot nicer than Minneapolis and Toronto. You don’t get the snowy, cold winters. I love it out here, and the people are definitely nice, and they welcomed me pretty nice. I love it.
What do you like to do outside of basketball? Do you have any hobbies when you’re not practicing?
When I’m not practicing or doing homework, I love to just watch movies. I’m a big movie guy. I like to just either go to the movies or Redbox or Netflix — every movie thing you could think of. I just watch movies a lot, basically every day.
Any genre that you like in particular?
No, I really watch every type of movie. My favorite type though would probably be, like, old gangster movies. Like “Scarface” and “Carlito’s Way” and those types of movies.
So like Scorsese movies, “Goodfellas,” those types?
Yeah, yeah — “The Godfather.”
What’s your favorite movie ever?
So tough, but my favorite ever would have to be “Scarface” or “Menace II Society.”
What about music? What kind of music are you into?
I would say my favorite type of music would be R&B and hip-hop, but I’m more of a good music guy. If it’s good music, whether it’s country, a rock song or blues — if it’s a good song, I’ll like it. There’s a few songs I like in all different genres.
In terms of R&B and hip-hop music, who are your favorite artists in those genres?
I have to give a shout out to Drake, you know, being from Toronto. I feel like he’s definitely on top of the game right now. His music that he’s creating is just phenomenal, and he’s doing a great job. He’s probably my favorite artist right now.
Did you like the new album, “Take Care”?
That was a classic (laughs).
Do you like it better than his first album, “Thank Me Later”?
They’re both classics to me.
When did you first start listening to Drake? You probably knew about him earlier being from Toronto.
Actually the first time I met Drake was when he came to one of my basketball games.
Oh, you met Drake?
We’re actually semi-acquaintances now. A lot of his beat producers went to high school with me, so we’re good friends, and I went to high school with (hip-hop producer) Boi-1da, (at Pickering High School in Ajax, Ontario, Canada). So, the first time I met him was at a high school game, he came and introduced himself to me. And since then I started listening to his music a lot, and I’ve liked him since then. So that was probably since ’07.
So how often do you talk?
Well, he’s pretty busy, so we don’t get to talk that much. But a lot of his close friends, like his manager, I have a pretty good relationship with them, and I usually hit them up on the BlackBerry messenger here and there.
Another random thing I wanted to ask: Do you have an NBA team? Are you a Toronto Raptors fan, or are you a fan of another team?
Well, you know I love Toronto, that’s my home city, but when it comes to basketball, I just love watching good players and good teams. I wouldn’t say I have one specific team I love to watch, but obviously just being from Toronto, I’m going to have my city’s back. I’m going to want to cheer for my city whenever possible. But as far as just watching basketball, I like the good teams and the good players.
Who are some of the players that you like to watch?
I’m sure a lot of the same players you like to watch (laughs). Kobe, LeBron, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, you know, all the best players. I think they’re really special to watch, and I like even some of the not-so-big-name players. I just like to see good basketball and good basketball plays.
Have you watched much of the NBA since it’s come back?
I’ve definitely been watching the NBA. I’m making sure I catch the game tonight — San Antonio is playing Miami, and my little brother (San Antonio guard Cory Joseph) is going to get some playing time now, so I’ll definitely be watching that game.
Who do you think is the favorite for the title this year?
To be honest, I would have to say Miami is the favorite, just from going to the title game last year and losing. With all the superstars they have, I’d have to say they’re the favorites. But there’s so many good players in the NBA, it’s all about who’s playing well at the right time.