By: Lauren Young ~Staff Writer~
Xavier junior redshirt Justin Martin, after completing his undergraduate studies at Xavier, plans to transfer elsewhere for his final year of eligibility. According to NCAA regulations for graduate transfer students, Martin will be allowed to contact other colleges and universities upon graduation from Xavier, he will be immediately eligible.
“I have decided to use my 5th year at another school,” the 6-foot-6 small forward said via Twitter. “I sincerely thank Xavier and the Xavier fans/community for the support and opportunity!”
“Just want people to know before rumors are started that this was all my decision with the help of prayer. Don’t believe what u hear!” Martin added, again via Twitter.
Next season for the Musketeers will be an interesting one without Martin or sophomore guard Semaj Christon in the starting line-up.
Justin Martin and Semaj Christon were Xavier’s leading scorers and accounted for 28.7 of the team’s 71.8 average points. It is clear that the team tended to be more successful when Martin was playing his best basketball.
The team won 16 out of the 18 games that Martin scored in double-figures after Dec 31. Martin also achieved personal highs in scoring and rebounding– 22 points versus DePaul on Feb. 19 and 16 rebounds versus Creighton on March 1, respectively.
The Muskies also struggled when Martin was not on his A game.
In the tough loss to NC State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Martin put up just eight points and was 0-for-6 at the three point mark in 38 minutes.
Martin averaged 11.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 28.2 minutes per game in the 2013-14 season.
“It has been an experience of a lifetime to even play Division I basketball. I will always be a Musketeer and will always love Xavier!!,” Martin also mentioned on Twitter.
Xavier has already suffered the loss of star sophomore guard Christon to the NBA draft, and injured freshman Kamall Richards has transferred to another school that has not yet been publicized.
Head Coach Chris Mack also received a decent amount of attention. The Unuversity of California communicated an interest in Mack, who has coached at Xavier for five seasons, taking over its basketball program Cal’s head coach, Mike Montgomery, retired in early April, having coached the Golden Bears for six seasons. He previously coached for the University of Montana and Stanford University in addition to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
ESPN announced on April 12 that Mack will stay in Cincinnati as the Musketeers’ head coach. He has led Xavier to the NCAA tournament in four of his five seasons, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2012