Martin keeps it close to home

Going into the July evaluation period 2012 Glendale (Ariz.) Kellis forward Kenny Martin was a relative unknown. Aside from Arizona State and Syracuse no school had shown interest in him. It didn't take long for Martin to start turning heads with his play in this month's AAU tournaments and off the court he wasted no time with his recruiting process and pledged to the Sun Devils today.

"I called coach (Lamont) Smith this morning and told him I'm coming to Arizona State," Martin said. "He said that he and the coaches were very excited and that they can't wait for me to join them. I felt that staying close to home was going to be a better choice for me. Being close to family, if you get into any situations I know that they will be there for me.

"I think I would fit in perfectly with their style of play."

In a previous interview to Martin indicated that if ASU would offer him a scholarship that he would immediately commit. The Sun Devils did offer Martin last week, but at the same time he was attracting attention from several schools such Minnesota, Washington, UTEP and Long Beach State (the only other school Martin reported an offer from to date) and thus he decided to take a step back from the recruiting process.

Fortunately for ASU his thought process came full circle and he decided to commit to the hometown school.

Martin took an unofficial visit to Arizona State in June and as someone who has followed the hometown team Martin sees a lot of potential in the Sun Devil squad.

"Even though they started talking to me last month, I wasn't expecting them to offer and I was very excited when they did," Martin admitted in an interview to Devils Digest last night. "I think I would fit in very good there. The coaches think that if I came there I could run with Jahii Carson and get up and down the court, and be a smart player in the rotation.

"ASU is a good program and I think they can be better than they were last year. They have good coaches and their team is just young. But once they win some games and get more experience they will be better."

Thus far in July the 6-10 210 forward has played with his AAU club, the Arizona Aces, in the Pangos Sweet 16, Double Pump and All-West camp events held in Southern California. This weekend Martin is scheduled to participate in the Fab 48 in Las Vegas, and later this month will play in the Desert Duel in Gilbert and GBOA in Los Angeles.

Judging by his play the last several days, the recruiting attention is probably not about to diminish for Martin who maintains that he won't be looking at any other options down the road.

"I'm going to stay with Arizona State," Martin said. "They are a good program and they have good coaches."

As a junior Martin averaged 14.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg 4.8 bpg for the 22-4 Cougars who were eliminated in the 4A-I semi-finals.

"Coaches like my speed and they say that I can run up and down the court like a guard," Martin said. "They also like that I can handle and the ball and shoot from the outside. But they also like I can play defense and rebound. I do need to work more on my inside game and get in the weight room and bulk up.

"I don't try to model my game after any player, but a lot of people say that I play like Dirk Nowitzki. I don't see it, but everybody else does. I guess because I have the long blond hair and the beard like he does…"

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