VUSports: With your season at the Rivers School now in the rear-view mirror, how do you feel you performed in relation to both your personal and team goals?
Jermaine Samuels: Personal - I think I left it all out there and I think I did everything I could to put our school in a position to win. That was me, personally. Some days were off, some days were good. As a team, I am very proud of the team because we had some injuries and a lot of guys who didn’t normally played stepped up when we needed it.
VUSports: When last we spoke, you mentioned improving the consistency of your jumper and your ball-handling as two areas you were working on - six months later, how would you evaluate your progress?
Jermaine Samuels: Well right not I just need to take some time off and give myself a week for my body to heal and then I will be right back at it so I can prepare for being at Villanova. Shooting-wise, I could have done better. I didn’t take that many three-pointers per game so my percentage was kind of low. As far as ball-handling, I really didn’t ball-handle that much because we had a pretty guard-dominated team. I played anywhere from the 3 to the 5 this season depending on what was going on.
VUSports: You also mentioned that the Villanova coaches were looking at you as potentially taking over the role of Josh Hart - does that seem like a daunting task to you now given he is the Big East POY and a 1st Team All-American - are those big shoes to fill?
Jermaine Samuels: I feel like it is personally, but I don’t feel that it is too daunting. Whatever it is that needs to be done needs to be done and there doesn’t have to be any nerves for it. I should be able to adjust quick - get adjusted and deal with what it is that they want me to do and whatever it takes to win.
VUSports: You mentioned in a recent interview that your four years of high school went by very quickly - how does that influence your perspective on how you should approach your college years and how you will value each season and game you play at Villanova?
Jermaine Samuels: Looking at it in hind-sight, I think once I step on campus that I am going to enjoy and take in as much as possible and try to slow down the time and have fun and not speed through everything. I will just try to really enjoy my time there.
VUSports: Looking at the players returning for Villanova next season, and even assuming nobody leaves early for the NBA, it would appear that you are well positioned to be an integral part of the 7, 7.5, or 8-man rotation as a Freshman - Do you feel that you are ready for that challenge?
Jermaine Samuels: I feel like I am prepared to take on that challenge and, to be honest, I can’t wait! I am going to be doing something that I always wanted to do.
VUSports: What player or players, if any, do you compare yourself to or model your game after?
Jermaine Samuels: I can’t really tell right now because I haven’t really been watching much NBA basketball. But probably, I am a little bit like Paul George.
VUSports: Have you been back to Villanova since your official visit and signing your NLI and have you been following the Cats this year?
Jermaine Samuels: I was up there for Hoop Mania.
VUSports: Have you had the opportunity to follow Villanova this year or watch the Cats play much?
Jermaine Samuels: Yeah - any time I can.
VUSports: What are your feeling on how the season has progressed for Villanova - you mentioned that your team has had some injury problems and it was a case of “next man up” that sounds similar to what Villanova has been facing this season?
Jermaine Samuels: To me it is kind of amazing because you look around the nation and a lot of the other teams are basically all healthy and those guys [Villanova players] said “no excuses, we gotta go ahead and win ball games” and that is exactly what they do.
Jermaine Samuels: Dhamir - I hung out with him when we went to Hoops Mania and we talk here and there ... and Collin - I congratulated him on his success and committing to Villanova but I haven’t really talked to him. I follow him on Twitter but he has been so busy we haven’t talked.
VUSports: It may be a little early to ask this but when do you formally graduate from High School and what date have you circled on your calendar as your arrival date at Villanova?
Jermaine Samuels: I don’t know my arrival date exactly, but I do know that I graduate on June 3rd.
VUSports: Are there any other thoughts you have or messages that you would like to share with ‘Nova Nation?
Jermaine Samuels: I am ready to go and I am ready to give everything I’ve got!