Martin a 'premier wing'

Louisville's most recent 2010 commitment, 6'6 Justin Martin of Indianapolis Lawrence North, has yet to play a varsity basketball game. So why is the junior small forward ranked the No. 36 prospect nationally by Scout.com?

"I think over the summer he really established himself as a premier wing," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels. "We have him ranked the fifth-best small forward in the 2010 class. He used the summer to show his athleticism and ability to score against top notch competition. He made his mark over the summer."

As a sophomore, Martin was a standout on the Lawrence North junior varsity squad. This year, he'll move up to the varsity where he'll team with 2009 Louisville commit Stephen Van Treese, Dominque Ferguson, a 6'9 2010 Kentucky commit and 2011 Louisville recruit Michael Chandler, a 6'10 sophomore center.

"The first thing you notice about Justin is his size," Daniels said. "He's 6'6, maybe 6'7, moves really well and can get to the rim. He can shoot it out to 22 feet and he can score. He's not a great athlete but he's a pretty good athlete and he uses his body well when he goes to the basket. He's on a loaded high school team and he had to wait his turn and this year is going to be his turn."

Though Martin is efficient with his jump shot, there's a lot more to his game than simply standing behind the three-point line and launching 3's.

"I wouldn't call him a standstill shooter at all," said Daniels. "I think he's a guy that can take people off the dribble and can get to the basket and adjust his shots once he gets to the rim. I wouldn't call him a great shooter but he is definitely a capable shooter. But he's not a stand still guy at all. He's a guy that can go off the dribble and moves really well."

With Justin Martin's decision to play for the Cardinals, Rick Pitino now has three 2010 commitments in the fold. Jeremy Tyler, a 6'10 center from San Diego, and Josh Langford, a 6'6 forward from Huntsville, Ala.

"He's very different from Josh Langford," Daniels said. "Langford is an ultimate athlete that goes hard to the rim at all times, Martin can mix it up a little. He can get to the rim and also knock down some jumpers."

Daniels believes Martin and Langford will co-exist nicely in the Cardinals lineup.

"I think they think Langford is going to be ultimately a wing and they are happy with the way he is progressing," said Daniels. "Martin is really a guy that can score. I don't know if he'll play the two but certainly these two guys can play together. So I don't think it's a huge deal they took both of them. They were looking to provide some depth at the wing positions and they got two pretty good ones."

Though Martin made a strong impression over the summer, Daniels said the versatile junior still has plenty to work on and improve before he's ready to make an impact at Louisville.

"He's going to have to be more consistent with his shooting and (develop) a mid-range game," Daniels said. "He doesn't always pull up, he'll go all the way to the rim or he'll shoot jumpers."

"But we're talking about a kid that's really starting to develop now and he's got a lot of potential," Daniels added.


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