Former Xavier forward Justin Martin has scheduled a pair of visits for the next two weekends as he continues the transfer process.
Martin will visit SMU next weekend, followed by a trip to West Virginia on June 6-7, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Rothstein reported the news days after Martin had visited Florida State.
The 6-foot-6 Martin will be a graduate transfer, allowing him to play immediately next season. He was second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this past season. He announced his transfer two weeks after top scorer Semaj Christon declared for the NBA Draft.
SMU head coach Larry Brown has put together a more challenging out-of-conference slate after the Mustangs were snubbed from the NCAA tournament. Martin could be an added piece to the frontline along with Markus Kennedy, complimenting the back court of Nic Moore and incoming freshman Emmanuel Mudiay.
West Virginia have far less preseason hype than SMU, especially after losing two of its top three scorers to transfer. However, the Mountaineers did retain Juwan Staten.
According to Rothstein, Martin was at Florida State on Wednesday. The Seminoles finished .500 in ACC play last season, reaching the NIT semifinals. FSU is ranked sixth in the ACC in College Basketball Talk‘s Way-Too-Early Power Rankings.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.