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Q&A: Sophomore stud Jermaine Samuels locked in mentally for Expressions Elite

By Alec Kinsky, D1 Circuit, 04/28/15, 9:30PM EDT

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Expressions Elite had a strong second session, finishing 3-1 while keeping their Peach Jam hopes alive. 

Jermaine Samuels was on point, averaging double figures in three out of four games and shooting 50% from the floor. He is one of the top contributing sophomores in the EYBL and his improved production resulted in wins for Expressions.

D1 caught up with Samuels and questioned him on a variety of topics in what resulted in a very informative and entertaining conversation. The ceiling is high for Samuels, get to know him before he blows up.

The Interview:


Alec Kinsky: Break down the first two sessions. Was the EYBL everything you expected it to be?

Jermaine Samuels: No not at all. I got benched after the first game for missing a rebound, and against CIA Bounce I started off great then I got sat for a turnover and then against Boo Williams I went out after a couple deflections. I wasn’t happy but it was for the greater good of the team at the time. I just had to switch my attitude up and bounce back for the second session.

AK: And how did that go?

JS: Went pretty well actually. We went 3-1 and I had a great game against the NorthWest Xpress. My playing time was consistent and I locked up on defense. Just played my ass off. It was a lot of fun this weekend.

AK: Does a quick hook change the way you approach the game?

JS: It makes me a little agitated, but hungrier because I know I belong out there. And I know mentally I’m ready to battle. But when I get benched it throws me off a little bit. But my mindset will keep getting better.

AK: What are the best aspects of your game right now?

JS: On ball defense, shooting – mid range or threes, my triple threat game, and attacking the rim.

AK: Anything you’re working on in particular?

JS: Jumping off two feet, having better ball control through bumps and other contact, and creating plays for my teammates.

AK: Do you model your game after anyone?

JS: Paul George for sure, I try to play just like him.

AK: That’s awesome. Had to have been tough to see him go down last year, that killed me.

JS: Same here, I was almost in tears.

AK: Who’s after you the hardest recruiting right now?

JS: To be honest, I have no idea. My dad usually handles that stuff since they can’t talk to me, but he has heard from Jay Wright from Villanova recently.

AK: Specific schools aside, what is going to be a big factor when picking? Playing time? Coach? Academics?

JS: Academics, playing time and coaching style. I want an up-tempo style of course, and I want a school where I would want to be at whether I played ball or not.

AK: Have to be in an enjoyable spot at college, great years of your life.

JS: Yeah I agree and I want to. Fully they change the one and done rule.

AK: Any big hobbies outside of basketball?

JS: Drawing, and just kicking it with my friends. That’s about it.

AK: Who would you say is the biggest influence in your life?

JS: Definitely my dad by far.

AK: That’s great to hear, parents are the best resource.

JS: Yeah man, I wouldn’t be the way I am if it wasn’t for my mom and dad.

AK: Who’s on your pregame playlist?

JS: Definitely a lot of JCole, Logic and Drake (laughs). But it’s most of their recent songs, so Forrest Hills Drive, If you’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and Under Pressure.

AK: JCole, nice. No problem with Drake unless it’s his basketball fanhood.

JS: (Laughs) Oh yeah he’s a fanboy.

AK: Have any favorite teams?

JS: None in particular, I just love watching great basketball.

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