Luke Martinez

Wyoming’s Luke Martinez has court date set for arraignment

Leave a comment

In one of the more disturbing stories of the college basketball season, looks like Wyoming’s Luke Martinez’s court case is about to get started.

The story comes from Ben Frederickson of the Casper Star-Tribune.

The second-leading scorer for the Cowboys, a fifth-year senior had his arraignment date set for March 6 at 11 a.m.

If you remember, Martinez was arrested on felony assault charges after he kicked an already-knocked out man in the head — getting a running start to do so — following a bar fight in which one of his teammates, reserve forward Derek Cooke, Jr, was involved. The man who was kicked underwent surgery for a broken jaw after the fight. Guard Nathan Sobey was also present when the fight happened. Cooke, Jr., knocked the victim out with a punch during the fight prior to the kick.

Martinez admitted to kicking the man in the head during the fight to authorities, after sticking around the scene afterward to speak to police. Several witnesses told authorities that Martinez kicked the victim after he was down. He suffered a broken fourth metacarpal in his right hand in the fight and had missed three games prior to his arrest.

This is what is most upsetting. The man was out. Had Martinez walked away nothing happens. But it wasn’t enough that the guy got what he deserved, apparently. Just can’t understand that.

Martinez has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Sobey and Cooke have continued to play, although have performed community service.

The 6-4, 190-pound Martinez has been out on $25,000 bond since Jan. 15. Martinez can plead not guilty and go to trial or plead guilty and hope for a lenient punishment. Wyoming state law has felonious assault punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a possible fine.

You’d have to think after all the evidence, that Martinez will plead out right? He doesn’t seem to have a record, so a short jail sentence and a fine might be wait he looks at, along with post-release parameters.

The Bismarck, North Dakota native was averaging 14.5 points and shooting 45.4-percent from the field through 12 games before the incident occurred on Dec. 30 at the Buckhorn Bar.

It’s horrible situation, but one that Martinez allegedly brought onto himself. And one that could put I gigantic dent in Wyoming’s solid season. I doubt he suits up for the Pokes again.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

Leave a comment

Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.