July 16th Hoops Notebook

The Pony Stampede staff was out at hoops practice to get more from Larry Brown and a Q&A with Justin Martin.

Larry Brown Part 2

Larry Brown discussing Prime Prep, Jordan Mickey and Karviar Shepard.

Larry Brown Part 3

Larry Brown talking about Eman and if he could've made the jump from high school to pro, plus a little more.

Justin Martin Q&A

Q: Why did you decide to get going in the summer?

Martin: “Being a senior and being older, I’m just trying to be around my teammates. I don’t have to take summer classes since I already graduated, but I wanted to get acquainted with the system and get used to how Coach Brown does things. I’m excited to be here and I’m ready to get this show on the road.”

Q: Why did you end up choosing SMU?

Martin: “It was really a no-brainer. As far as coaching, being in Dallas with my family, and winning, those are the three main factors that went into the decision to come to SMU and it’s paid dividends so far in the summer. I’ve seen how much I have improved my game. It’s the little things like footwork, pivoting and stuff. It’s second-to-none and a no brainer for me.”

Q: How does your role change?

Martin: “The only difference is showing the guys who I really am. They haven’t had the chance that Xavier had to get to know me for four years. At Xavier, I wasn’t deemed a captain but I was still a vocal leader of the team. I was able to get guys to rally around me, do the right thing, and follow my lead. I look to implement that here. I’ll be that same type of guy here. It’s just going to take time because they don’t know me. Actions speak louder than words, so I’m going to show them instead of tell them.”

Q: What was the decision process like compared to high school recruiting?

Martin: “It was easier. Coming out of high school, you think of all of the wrong things. You think about the name on the back of jersey instead of the name on the front of your jersey. That’s what you’re really playing for. This time around, it wasn’t about the whole recruiting pitch. I have heard it all before. I was focused on getting to where I need to get as an individual and as a team. We are trying to get to my hometown, Indianapolis.”

Q: Why transfer and not do graduate school at Xavier?

Martin: “I wanted a fresh start and I wanted to expand my network in different ways. I was the second leading scorer at Xavier, but I always felt overshadowed and overlooked. That might happen here, but at the same time I feel like there is a better support system here. That’s nothing against Xavier at all. I just feel like Coach Brown and his staff have already put me in a better position to expand my game and to succeed on and off the court. I’ve got a chance to meet some people in the hierarchy through Coach Brown. It’s been an eye-opening experience. It’s a prestigious program with the alumni base and everything. I didn’t make an 18-year-old decision. I made a 23-year-old decision. It’s better for me to finish my last year here.”

Q: Did Xavier try and get you stay?

Martin: “Of course they did, but I’m very spiritual and I prayed about it. My heart wasn’t at Xavier. I didn’t know where it was at the time, but once I got my release and I got all the schools to contact me. I followed my heart here. I don’t have any problem with the people at Xavier. I love them. I earned my college degree there. I promised my mom I would do that. I felt welcomed the whole time I was there. A lot of kids these days have the wrong people in there ear and can go down the wrong path. I’m spiritual and I followed my heart. It felt right.”

Q: Are you glad Cincinnati is still on your schedule?

Martin: ”(Laughs) No comment.”

Q: What was your reaction to the Emmanuel Mudiay news?

Martin: “I look at it through a different lens because I’m older. You have to deal with adversity all the time. I have been dealing with it since I started playing basketball. You can’t always bank on things to happen. I wasn’t able to play my freshman year. Things can happen with the NCAA. At the same time, I understand where he is coming from. His mom is struggling. I had the opportunity to forgo my last year and pursue professional opportunities. But I knew starting my master’s degree and continuing the grind of the college game with a guy like Coach Brown in my corner would be a greater opportunity. That’s better than chasing an $80,000 dollar check. I’m sure Emmanuel is going to get way more than that. I’m talking about from my personal standpoint. I wish him the best. I have never met him before or played with him. He never made it to open gym because I heard he was trying to get his classes and stuff done. I wish him the best. I don’t hate on anybody. As long as everybody is good, I’m good.”

Q: Do you think you guys can still accomplish your goals?

Martin: “Yeah, I wouldn’t have come here unless I thought it could be accomplished. As good as some people are, freshman and sophomores have a learning curve. I have already been in the game for three years. I know what can help this team. I know the effort I give will help this team immensely. One player down might hurt at the point guard position, but we have so many other pieces. We can still get to where we want to get. That’s Indianapolis. We want to go back. I wish him the best. We will be good with or without him.”

Pony Stampede Top Stories