CoachSpeak: Thandi Wade on Joseph Strugg

Thandi Wade, who coached MSU commit Joseph Strugg on the AAU Jackson Tigers team this past summer, talks about the type player that Strugg is both offensively and defensively.

  • Name: Joseph Strugg
  • Classification: 2015
  • High School: Carver (AL) High School
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • HT: 6-foot-8, 210
  • Ranking: 3-Star
  • Schools Of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State.

  • Joseph was hurt at the Peach Jam Tournament, which was played in late summer, wasn't he?
    "Yeah, he hurt his ankle the very first game. Due to that, he wasn't able to play in the rest of it."

    He played for your team this summer. What are your thoughts about him as a basketball player?
    "He is an extremely athletic kid who is about 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9. He has a high motor. What will allow him to play at the next level is his athleticism. He is one of the most athletic kids around."

    What do you like about him defensively and offensively?
    "He is much better on the defensive end right now. But a lot of that is due to his athleticism. He blocks shots, he rebounds, he competes and doesn't back down from anybody. That is one thing that I feel will help him as well.

    "Offensively, he has a little bit more development to do as far as being able to make the 15-foot jump shots. I think, for him to be able to be successful on the next level, he'll have to at least be able to make the 15-foot jump shot. He can attack the goal but to keep the defense honest he will have to make the open jump shots."

    Would you say he's raw when it comes to basketball?
    "Offensively, I would call him raw but defensively he is much, much further along. I would say he can guard three positions defensively because he is such a good athlete. He can guard perimeter players and he can also guard post players."

    Offensively, Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray feels like he is an SEC-caliber player because he offered him a scholarship. Why do you believe he is SEC-caliber?
    "I think he is an SEC talent because of his athleticism. I would say that Joe, because of well he runs and jumps, is one of the better athletes in the southeast, not just Alabama but the entire southeast."

    Why do you think he is so under the radar recruiting-wise?
    "I would say there are two reasons. First, his offensive game is behind, and, two, I think his high school was really loaded, so he just had to wait his turn. He had to wait his turn but this year will be his turn. Due to that, I think you will see an increase in his numbers."

    Do you think that Mississippi State got a diamond in the rough?
    "Yeah, they got a diamond in the rough. The kid, with time, will be a really, really good player for them."

    Joseph Strugg will take his official visit to Mississippi State this coming weekend when the MSU football team plays Texas A&M.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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