OXFORD • Jarkel Joiner is not concerned about points. They’ll come, he believes. They always have.
Others may be more concerned about points for Ole Miss next year and who will acquire them as the Rebels transition away from Breein Tyree.
Tyree averaged 19.7 points last year, 22.2 points in SEC games in his final season of eligibility.
Fifteen times Tyree scored 20-plus including a career-high 40 against rival Mississippi State.
He finished No. 6 on the school’s career scoring list with 1,797 points just behind Elston Turner who had 1,805 points.
There’s no doubt the Rebels will need to find a new go-to player … or, more likely, players.
Former Oxford High School star Jarkel Joiner, who followed a non-traditional path to Ole Miss, is expected to be part of the post-Tyree plan for success.
“I do not feel any pressure because I’ve always been able to score,” said Joiner, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard.
Indeed, the past has been kind to Joiner.
The former Daily Journal player of the year was fourth in the nation in scoring as a high school senior averaging 36.5 points a game while leading the Chargers to the state semifinals.
Joiner was recruited by then-Middle Tennessee State assistant coach Win Case when Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis and his staff were in Murfreesboro.
“They didn’t pull the trigger because they were already full of guards and needed a big man,” Joiner said.
But Case valued Joiner as a scorer then and saw the easy transition Joiner made to Division I after signing with former Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes at Cal-State Bakersfield.
“He was our leading scorer,” said Barnes, reflecting as he watched Joiner on the Ole Miss bench and the Rebels won 83-67 on Dec. 7.
Joiner sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“Through all the extra workouts and getting stronger in the weight room I really have learned to be a better teammate,” he said.
Joiner averaged 10.4 points a game and drew 27 starts as a true freshman.
As a sophomore he was the only Roadrunner to start all 34 games.
He shot 45.1 percent from the floor, 37 percent from 3-point range. He averaged 15.6 points overall and a Western Athletic Conference-leading 18.6 points in league play.
Joiner says he upped his scoring in his second season by daily focus on his mid-range game.
“I worked on my jumper day-in and day-out. I’m quick enough to get to different spots on the floor,” he said.
Confident in his shooting, Joiner says he’s spent his transfer season working to affect the game in different ways.
Case is also confident in Joiner’s shooting and has high expectations for him next season.
“We’re really excited about Jarkel,” Case said. “We think he’s going to be a special, special player and possibly a perfect replacement for Breein Tyree.”