Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome to the Gophers, Josh Martin!

Our long regional nightmare is final over, as the Gophers have their first 2014 commit in PF Josh Martin out of Bothel, WA. 

At 6-7, 210 lbs. Martin brings what is pretty close to a Big Ten ready body for a PF, and he compliments his size with good athleticism, good ball-handling skills for a 4, and a decent outside shot and his skills should fit with Pitino's system well.  There is some concern over his ranking on ESPN according to those who follow rankings, as Martin plummeted from the #92 overall all the way to an unranked 2-star recruit recently, which is not something that happens often.

As near as I can tell, Martin didn't put up great numbers in summer ball after playing with 3 guys who really, really like to shoot.  Not exactly sure what that means, but it could be as simple as he's just a deferring kind of kid on offense right now, and that's just fine.  Watching video he looks like a solid recruit who can play both inside and out, although scouting reports say his outside shot is iffy and he needs to work on his back-to-the-basket game.  I think it's likely that Martin won't be a huge offensive contributor right away, but with his size and athleticism he should be a good rebounder and defender from the get go.  It will be interesting to watch and see how Pitino and staff bring his game around in this four years at the U and how it compares to some of the non-improvement we tended to see when the previous regime was around.

Bottom line:  no need to worry about some stupid ranking/evaluation when team's on the Gophers level (FSU) and even above it (Pitt) were still after Martin hard until the end.  He should do well in the system Pitino wants to install, and would be able to contribute well even if the end up playing at a slower pace than his ideal.  Good get, good start.  Now time to build.

Also PG Riley LaChance committed to Vanderbilt which means the Gophers made another final list but couldn't close the deal which really is ok because LaChance looks like kind of a nerd so we don't need him.

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