Rick Barnes says Spurs have a keeper in Cory Joseph

University of Texas coach Rick Barnes believes that the Spurs might have a strong contributor in point guard Cory Joseph.

Joseph was ranked by most talent analysts before the draft as a second-round selection. But Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said that Joseph can help the team defensively at point guard as he explained why he was picked 29th in the first round with the Spurs’ second first-round draft selection.  

Buford should know. He saw Joseph play often during his freshman season as a teammate of his adopted son, Texas forward Alexis Wangmene.

Joseph played in all 36 Texas games as a freshman, leading the team in assists, steals, 3-point percentage and minutes played. He averaged 10.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, reaching double figures in scoring in 21 of the Longhorns’ 36 games last season.

“Cory is a player who, as a coach, you really enjoy being around because of his approach to the game and his work ethic,” Barnes said. “He simply loves to be in the gym and compete.”

That competitive streak should help him prosper in the NBA, Barnes said.

“Cory has a quiet confidence about him and he does all the little things that help a team,” Barnes said. ”We would have loved the chance to work with him at Texas for a longer period of time, as we understand that he is just beginning to develop into the type of player we know he can become.”

Joseph was the third Texas player selected in the first round Thursday night, joining forward Tristan Thompson (No. 4 pick by Cleveland) and Jordan Hamilton (No. 26 pick by Dallas, eventually traded to Denver).

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