Bloomington – After a big summer on the AAU circuit, a lot of programs are seeing a lot to like in Lawrence North (Ind.) H.S. junior Justin Martin.
The 6-6, 190-pounder already has scholarship offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, Xavier and Dayton, plus interest from Indiana and plenty of others. He's Scout.com's 36th-ranked player overall in the Class of 2010 and the fifth-ranked small forward.
"I'm excited to get the early offers, but at the same time I know I have to keep working hard," Martin said. "They fell in love with me now, but I know there are more things I can do to get better and make them fall in love with me even more."
One of the things programs love is Martin's versatility. He has the size to play inside and rebound when needed but also the skill to play on the perimeter as well. He said most college coaches view him as a combo guard at the next level, and with that in mind he's focused on improving his vision on the court this summer.
"I think I'm an all-around player, so whatever the defense gives me is what I try to do," Martin said. "I can shoot, I can post up a smaller guy, or I can create plays off the dribble."
The Indiana coaching staff has seen Martin's skills first hand. He was among the high school players who attended IU's first Elite Camp this summer, and Martin said the IU staff has been targeting him with their 2010 recruiting efforts.
"They've been showing a lot of interest in me," Martin said.
Martin has talked with IU Coach Tom Crean as well as assistant coaches Bennie Seltzer and Tim Buckley during the recruiting process. While he said he doesn't favor the state schools over the out-of-state schools simply due to proximity, he said he has been impressed with what Crean has done during his short time on the job.
"He's really energetic, he's got a non-stop motor and he's passionate about the game," Martin said. "I really think he can turn the program around and bring Indiana back up. I think that was a good decision for IU to pick him."
Crean's intensity and passion are obvious during games as well as practices, and recruits probably see it during the elite camp as well. But Martin suspects he toned it down a little bit when he was in town for the elite camp.
"I think going to the elite camp gives you an opportunity to see how they structure a college practice and be coached by a college coach, see if you'd like to play for that coach," Martin said. "But I don't think they give you everything they've got because they don't want to scare you away."
While the Hoosiers haven't offered a scholarship yet, Martin said he has gotten the sense that could change before too long.
"I know Indiana has said more about offering than Purdue," Martin said. "I can't recall the actual words, but if one of them were to offer first, I'd think it's going to be Indiana."
Martin figures to add plenty of more offers as well before he's ready to make a decision. With two years of high school remaining, he still has a high school season and a summer of AAU basketball to continue to showcase his skills for college coaches if he wants to wait.
"I think I'll make a decision at the end of next summer, or before that if I feel strong about a school," Martin said. "But definitely after my high school season."
This high school season figures to be a very successful one for Martin, a member of one of the most talented teams in the state. Lawrence North's roster includes other high-profile recruits such as senior Stephan Van Treese, junior Dominique Ferguson (Kentucky commit) and sophomores Michael Chandler and Ryan Taylor.
"Playing with that much talent is great," Martin said. "You can't be on a bad team (in practice). It helps you out in the games because you don't have Dominique or Stephan guarding you or trying to block your shot. It makes it easier. Our practices are always competitive and fun and really intense."
Martin Getting Offers, Interest From IU
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