CINCINNATI — It appears that Justin Martin’s experiment at Southern Methodist is over.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Martin, who exercised his fifth-year option to play for Larry Brown at SMU for one year, has decided to quit midseason and turn pro.
The former Lawrence North star played in just 10 of the Mustangs’ 16 games and averaged 5.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 12 minutes. He apparently had a knee injury early on, but that was in November and he was seemingly healthy despite not playing in SMU’s most recent two games.
The last SMU outing Martin played in was Jan. 3 at Cincinnati. He had one turnover and one rebound in 3 minutes.
“We appreciate Justin’s contributions to our team and our program,” Brown said in a statement. “We wish him the best.”
Martin played in the Mustangs’ loss to IU at Assembly Hall on Nov. 20 and scored 7 points.
I never had a chance to talk to Martin after he left Xavier, undergraduate degree in hand, but thought his decision was peculiar. Although he would have had tough competition from Park Tudor grad Trevon Bluiett at small forward, 6-foot-6 Martin started 30 games a year ago and averaged a team-second 11.7 points with 5.2 rebounds.
Problem was, Martin was a mercurial player. You never know what you were going to get day-in, day-out. He scored 17 points in his last Crosstown Shootout and then contributed just four at Alabama and five against Wake Forest. Martin went 0-for-6 from 3-point range in Xavier’s NCAA tourney first-round loss to NC State.
I’m not sure if he’ll take his game overseas or devote time to working out for other opportunities, but best of luck to Martin during this juncture.