Oxford, Miss., PG holds three offers, but is working for more

Oxford, Miss., point guard Jarkel Joiner has a handful of scholarship offers from prospective colleges.

There’s one, though, he’s lacking. One he’s been hoping and holding out for. And it’s not hard to guess.

Joiner and the Chargers were among 33 teams that participated in Ole Miss’ team summer camp last week. For Joiner, a 2017 prospect, it was yet another opportunity to show his skills to the hometown Rebels, who have yet to extend him the elusive offer he makes no secret about wanting.

“That’s really tough, sometimes frustrating, because I’m right here in their back yard,” he said. “I feel like I’ve proven myself time after time. It just makes me work harder and adds fuel to my fire.

“I don’t really know. I guess they’re really interested.

Joiner holds no ill will towards Andy Kennedy and staff. He understands basketball recruiting isn’t like football recruiting. Basketball programs have to be judicious with limited, single-digit scholarships, whereas football hands out hundreds each season.

Unfortunately, that means even prospects as talented as Joiner are left waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

“It’s a hard conference, the SEC. It’s close to home. It’s a good program, and I love the coaches,” said Joiner, who averaged over 26 points a game in leading Oxford to a 20-10 record last season. 

“(Ole Miss assistant) Coach (Todd) Abernethy and coach Kennedy, I love them. It would be fun to play for them.”

Joiner admitted it would be tough to turn down an offer from Ole Miss should an offer ever come. But he’s currently focused on his in-hand offers, which include Cal-State Bakersfield, Middle Tennessee and TCU. He’s also hearing from Alabama and Murray State, and he’s planning a number of camp visits this summer.

Former Ole Miss coach and player Rod Barnes is the head coach of Cal-State Bakersfield, one of many factors playing into its favor for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound point guard.

“When I get invited to camps, I try to take the opportunity to go show my skills and try to earn more offers,” he said. “Middle Tennessee State, the coaching staff is great. The campus is relaxing. It’s nice. Education-wise, it’s perfect. It’s really nice there. Cal-State, I really like the coaching staff. I haven’t gotten down to campus yet, but I’ll take a visit sometime this summer. I love coach Barnes. He’s a childhood friend of my dad.”

Joiner doesn’t know when he’ll make his decision. He said he’s “just trying to get some offers and talk to God about it.” He said he’ll know when it’s time. More than anything, getting better each day is all that matters. His recruitment will work itself out.

“All the work I’ve put in has finally paid off,” he said. “From my ninth grade year to this year, my growth as a player and maturity-wise, mentally-wise and physically-wise is crazy. God has been blessing me.”

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