Indianapolis, Ind. – Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson may not be able to watch his top targets in the Class of 2007 as they compete in the nation's top camps this weekend, but his counterparts sure can.
While two of Sampson's top targets in the state of Indiana took the court at the Nike All-America camp in the form of Scott Martin and Robbie Hummel of Valparaiso, Ind., Purdue head coach Matt Painter sat prominently near mid-court wearing his school colors. The battle for Indiana is just beginning and the lines are being drawn.
"I don't even know if it's sunk in yet," said Martin. "You listen to your answering machine and you have Kelvin Sampson, Matt Painter, (Michigan head coach) Tommy Amaker, (Notre Dame head coach) Mike Brey and (Valparaiso assistant and former player) Bryce Drew leaving you messages. Sometimes it's surreal."
Martin is part of a soon-to-be senior class in Indiana that is starting a turf war in the state. While Sampson came to Indiana promising a focus on in-state recruiting, Painter has been slowly gaining credit in the state. Both will also have to face out-of-state coaches recruiting within their boundaries. Take the 6-8 Martin for example, who has seen his recruiting heat up after averaging 20.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and two blocks per game as a junior.
"My recruiting is a little different than it was last year," said Martin. "But it's cool and I have fun with it. I enjoy it. There definitely are some out-of-state schools that I really like and there's a definite possibility I could go to one of those schools. Nothing is for sure yet.
"Michigan, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, those are the out-of-state schools I really like."
Painter struck first in this season's recruiting battle, landing 6-10 center JuJuan Johnson of Franklin Central in Indianapolis and appears to be on the cusp of grabbing another commitment from Martin's teammate and long-time friend Hummel. However, those commitments do not guarantee more will be on the way.
"I think everybody is going to do what's in their best interest," said Martin. "If it happens to work that way then it happened to work that way. I think guys are going to look out for what their best interest is, as well they should. You have to look out for yourself sometimes, that's the harsh world of recruiting I guess."
Martin does not have to play second fiddle to anyone if he does not want to. With offers from Arizona State, DePaul, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue, Valparaiso, Ball State and Bowling Green, he can choose his own path through college basketball.
"I'm going to narrow it down after Peach Jam," said Martin. "Other than that I definitely want to commit before the school season starts. I may or may not make visits in the fall, just depending on how I feel.
"I haven't taken any visits lately. I've gone to Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue, Valparaiso and Ball State so far. I haven't been down to Indiana yet, but they're definitely still on my list and showing me a lot of interest. I want to make it there sometime in August. I don't know if it will be an official or unofficial visit yet, but I want to see the school."
Martin is taking his time with his commitment to make sure he makes the right decision for his future, but also so he can enjoy the time he is spending on basketball.
"I have fun with it. I love to travel and meet new people. Before this, I didn't know any of these guys on my team. Now, we're hanging out and enjoying each other. I like it because you get to meet people that you never would have met or even see places that you would never be like Georgia or Florida. It gives you a chance to travel, and for free, too. I like that."
While Martin may not be following his friend Hummel to college, he is following in his footsteps by attending this year's Nike camp. This year is Martin's first trip and Hummel's second.
"I don't know what Robbie is going to do, but I know he has not committed. That rumor isn't true. It was on the radio apparently, but he is not committed.
"It is easier with Robbie here. We're rooming together so it's nice after games to hang around someone you've known for a long time. Someone you're real good friends with. It makes it easier, definitely. He was here last year so I kind of ask him what's going on and what we are going to do next."
Martin Talks Timetable
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