Isaiah Joe is the latest of a long line of great Razorback shooters. In a recent interview, he told me that he’s met the three most recent greats playing pickup during the summers, and they all keep in touch. “All of them have given me some advice — from Dusty [Hannahs], to Daryl [Macon] to Jaylen [Barford] — and I think it really helps,” Joe said last week.
So far, so good.
He’s already No. 1 in three-pointers made in a season by an Arkansas freshman. He’s also No. 1 all-time among Hogs in three-pointers per game:
“It’s a great honor,” he explained to me for this article on OnlyInArk.com. Since Joe is all about breaking records, why not aim for one of the most impressive ones out there?
When it comes to the Power Five conferences, the record holder for most three pointers made per game in a season is Curtis Staples. In 1997-1998, he made 4.33 threes a game playing for Virginia.
Could Joe one day break that record?
“Oh yeah, now that you said that — it’s another thing to shoot for. I’m always pushing myself, trying to test my limits. If I were able to pass that or get up there that would be amazing.”
Below are some more tidbits from our interview:
Justice Hill is a Hogs freshman point point who’s on campus and practices — but doesn’t yet play — with the Arkansas team. He and Isaiah have known each other since elementary school, playing against and with each other on the youth basketball circuit.
On what Isaiah Joe anticipates Justice Hill will bring in 2019-2020:
“He’s gonna bring a different level of intensity. He’s gonna be another help at the guard spot, being able to handle the ball, distribute, play very good defense. He’s just an athletic guard, and yet his IQ is incredible.”
On assistant coach/Razorback great Scotty Thurman:
“He’s helped me a lot. Before I came here I was just a spot-up shooter, a catch and shoot shooter, event with hands in my face. He’s helping me with pump fake shots, get them off the ground, off the dribble step backs, screens, popping out, just releasing myself for a little bit.”
Thurman, coincidentally, owns a record Joe will likely break this season.
With seven games remaining on Arkansas’ regular season schedule until the SEC tournament begins, “the freshman has a real shot at taking down Scotty Thurman’s record of 102 triples in a season, regardless of classification,” Pete Roulier of HawgSports.com writes. “If he keeps his current pace, he will make 111 triples this year.”
Most Made 3-Pointers in a Season (Arkansas)
- 102 Scotty Thurman 1994-1995
- 100 Rotnei Clarke in 2009-2010
- 98 Pat Bradley in 1996-1997
- 95 Jannero Pargo in 2001-2002
- 93 Pat Bradley in 1998-1999
- 93 Pat Bradley in 1997-1998
- 91 Rotnei Clarke in 2010-2011
- 89 Anthlon Bell in 2015-2016
- 87 Jaylen Barford in 2017-2018
- 86 Isaiah Joe in 2018-2019
Isaiah Joe on Kobe Bryant and Jayson Tatum:
Kobe was my favorite player growing up. I grew up a Lakers fan, my parents were Lakers fans, so I watched him. But now I really like Jayson Tatum’s game.
Elsewhere, Joe elaborated one reason he appreciates Tatum is his versatility: “At any given moment your shot may not be on, so you got to fall back on defense, which is constant. Rebounding, taking charges, getting skills, handing the ball and getting assists, are all important.”
On the importance of his high school coach, Eric Burnett:
“Coach Burnett is very important. He’s always pushing me to be better because he sees the potential in everybody. Even though I shot great back then, there was always room to grow. He was always making me shoot extra on the shooting machine…”
Learn more about Isaiah Joe’s time playing for Burnett at Fort Smith Northside High School by watching this:
On adapting to SEC play:
“The physicality at this level is a lot different on this level. I have to get stronger. I have to get stronger, I have to gain more weight.” [He’s currently around 175 pounds] During the season I’m always taking in an excessive amount of calories. I have a really fast metabolism. Right now I’m trying to maintain weight as much as I can because it’s typical to lose weight during the season.
Most definitely, during the off season, we’ll be pounding on it hard.
Speaking of, here’s what the Hogs are doing about getting pounded on the boards:
A big focus in practice “We’ve been doing a lot of rebounding drills, one-on-one boxing out, four on four where you have go get five stops in a row and they all have to end in a rebound. Everything we’ve been doing is focused on rebounding.”
“We’re getting there – we may have some rough patches but I think we’ll break through.”