Martin discovering inside is better

LSU forward Jarell Martin is learning that he can be "a real threat down there on the block." The sophomore from Baton Rouge spoke with TSD about honing his versatile game.

To be 6-foot-10, 235 pounds and have options of how you can play the game of basketball must be one helluva feeling.

But, ever since he arrived on campus last year, that's been the case for versatile LSU forward Jarell Martin.

The Baton Rouge native has often excelled when pounding the ball inside and using his length and frame closer to the basket, but there's always been that gravitation to the three-point line.

Martin can for the most part shoot them, too, as he can take bigger, clumsier defenders off the dribble, but his shooting percentage from beyond the arc this year - Martin is 1-of-19 from deep - has driven home that, at least on the collegiate level, his bread is buttered in or near the paint.

Never was this more evident than in last week's wild 74-73 win at No. 16 West Virginia. With inside running mate Jordan Mickey in early foul trouble, Martin manned the interior for the entire game and finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

"When Jordan went out the game, I knew I had to go in and get some rebounds," Martin recalled. "I had to try to be a real threat down there on the block. I knew I had to go in there and play real hard, and I got some rebounds and some offensive rebounds. I was scoring the ball and opening things up for our guards on the wing."

So when asked which version of himself is the better offensive player - Jarell from close or Jarell from afar - Martin's answer rang true to what many fans have witnessed over the season and some change.

"Jarell at 10 to 12 (feet)," he said with a smile on his face. "I'm more effective down there. I know I have a higher percentage down there.

"I like to use my versatility. (It's still important) to look at the matchup. If a smaller guy's on me, I'll go down low and work from 10 to 12 feet. And if a big guy's on me, I can use my perimeter game."

Click on the link below for even more tidbits from Martin, guard Tim Quarterman and head coach Johnny Jones.

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