Jermaine Samuels Jr. (born November 13, 1998) is an American college basketball player for the Villanova Wildcats of the Big East Conference.
High school career
Samuels is the son of Taihish and Jermaine Samuels Sr. He first dunked the ball at age 13. Samuels attended Rivers School, where he was coached by Andrew Mirken, as well as playing AAU ball for Expressions Elite. In his freshman season, he averaged 19 points per game for The Rivers School. As a sophomore, he had a knee injury which required surgery and six months recovery. Samuels averaged 17.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game as a senior and was named First team All-USA Massachusetts by USA Today. Samuels committed to Villanova in November 2016, turning down offers from Indiana, Duke, Kansas, UConn, Georgetown, Arizona State and California. ESPN ranked him the 52nd best recruit in his class. He picked Villanova after visiting the campus in August 2016 and feeling very comfortable around the campus and coaches.
Samuels had a season-high 11 points in a 103–85 win against DePaul on December 27, 2017. However, he fractured his left hand in the game and missed several weeks. He rejoined the rotation in February 2018 but struggled to play consistent minutes and did not play in NCAA Tournament victories over West Virginia and Texas Tech. Samuels averaged 1.1 points and 1.2 rebounds per game as a freshman.
On February 27, 2019, Samuels scored a career-high 29 points in a 67–61 win against Marquette. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in a NCAA Tournament win over Saint Mary's. Samuels helped Villanova achieve a 26–10 record and win the Big East. He averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Coming into his junior season, Samuels was named to the Preseason Second Team All-Big East alongside teammate Collin Gillespie. Samuels scored 15 points in a 56–55 win against top-ranked Kansas on December 21, 2019, including a three-pointer with 20.5 seconds remaining. On January 18, Samuels scored 19 points including a crucial three-point play in a 61–55 win against UConn. He had 20 points in a 76–61 win over Butler on January 21. On January 28, 2020, Samuels missed a game against St. John's with a sprained foot. Samuels made the game winning three-point play in a 70–69 win over Georgetown on March 7, finishing with 13 points. As a junior, Samuels averaged 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
National team career
In the summer of 2019, Samuels was a part of the United States National team who competed at the Pan American Games in Peru. The team won bronze, defeating Dominican Republic with nine points from Samuels. He averaged 9.4 points per game during the tournament.
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