ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Less than two weeks before the season begins, the Lobo men’s basketball team finally has its entire roster in Albuquerque. After months of visa issues, Iona transfer and Nigeria native Nelly Junior Joseph has arrived in New Mexico.
Junior Joseph, 6-10, is expected to start at center for the Lobos and give a much needed defensive presence to the team. Even though he is expected to have such a large role in cherry and silver, the team is not rushing him into the mix.
“I don’t think its a secret that he’s a key piece to the puzzle, but there’s going to be an understanding that certainly it’s going to take some time,” said coach Pitino. “We’ll be patient with him, we will give him a couple concepts offensively, get him to understand some terminology, but we’re not going to give him everything at once.”
The center was a force for the Gaels the last few seasons, as he was named to the all-conference team multiple times, and was part of two NCAA tournament runs. Thanks to experience on his resume, coach Pitino believes Junior Joseph’s lack of experience wont be an issue.
“To me it’s no different than a player getting traded and playing the next day,” Pitino said. “As crazy as it sounds that’s going to have to be his understanding of it. My time table is he is ready to go November 6th.”