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Busting Brackets

Jarell Martin: Scouting Report


In most cases, NCAA five star recruits have been playing basketball their whole lives and make it their goal to be recruited by a big program. In this day and age, it is not uncommon that they have received offers from schools by the time that they are in middle school.

Jarell Martin is not most players. The Baton Rouge, LA senior who is headed to LSU next season is only in his second season of really playing basketball. After suffering an injury in his freshman year prior to the start of the season and having to sit out his sophomore year because he decided to transfer to a prep school, Martin has only been seen by schools for two high school basketball season.

The fact that he is ranked so highly by most scouts and experts around the country is made all the more impressive when you consider how little Martin has been playing basketball. Not to mention that he has received considerably less exposure than most of his pears who have been followed since their middle school days.

While Martin received many scholarship offers, most notably from Alabama, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, he chose to stay close to home and attend LSU. He will be a large part in helping the Tigers come back from a stretch that has seen them become very mediocre as a basketball program.

Here is a video of Martin’s basketball talent to give you an idea of how he plays.


Jarell Martin is a 6”8 power forward with the range of a shooting guard. He says he models his game after Kevin Durant and by the look of his shooting stroke, that isn’t too hard to believe. Martin is more than happy to stretch out the opposing defense by sometimes camping the three point line and swishing threes that defenders don’t have much of an option to try and stop. His range should translate over to the NCAA where he will be able to help improve the floor spacing for the Tigers and allow his guards to drive the paint with much less traffic at the rim.

Though he is a fantastic jump shooter, Martin is not a one dimensional scorer. He has above average dribbling skills for a player his size and in isolation he excels at attacking the rim and finishing or drawing a foul. At the free throw line, he is a confident and consistent shooter and since he gets there at a great rate, his ability to make his shots is very important.

Effort is never an issue for Martin, he hunts down loose balls with abandon, hits the boards extremely well and is always playing at his highest possible level. He is very good with put backs off missed shots and is very acrobatic while in the air which allows him to rebound the ball and put back in the net before falling back down to the ground.

Martin’s effort level is also very useful in transition where he is often the first man up the court for an easy dunk. He has great hands and makes sure to gather and secure the ball with two hands before making any moves, especially while in transition. Martin is a good leaper and a quick player for a guy his size.

For a player who has only been seriously playing basketball for two years, Martin shows great skill level and a tremendous ability to get better every day. He is only scratching the surface of his potential and seems to have the right attitude to make sure that he fully reaches whatever he can become.


The area where Martin stands to improve the most is at the defensive end of the ball. Like most high schoolers, Martin looks lost on some plays and demonstrates a lack of understanding when it comes to ready plays as they develop. For a forward, Martin has also not shown the ability to consistently defend the paint and block shots. Though he is quite athletic, he does not get many blocked shots in games and that could be due to his struggles with understanding how to come over and play help defense.

While Martin is an excellent spot up shooter, he is not yet comfortable at taking shots off the dribble that aren’t layups or dunks. It could be that he is not used to shooting the ball while in motion or it could also just be the fact that it is one of his weaknesses that he has not yet been able to address.

Since he is still learning a lot of the fundamentals, it is to be expected that his post game is another area where Martin would be smart to develop. While he has shown in his senior season some flashes of good footwork in the paint, it is still largely a work in progress. Getting a few moves down pat, like a hook shot and an up and under, would go a long way in making Martin virtually impossible to stop offensively.

As well, on the offensive end, Martin does not have very good court vision and does not see easy passing opportunities when they come along. While this is not yet a problem in his game because he is a forward and not expected to be a passer, it will become important for Martin to learn when to pass the ball in the NCAA. Otherwise he will be constantly getting swarmed by double teams and will commit a lot of bad turnovers in the process.

What to expect at LSU:

The LSU Tigers like to play a fast paced offense that involves a lot running and a lot of fast breaks. This could not be a more perfect situation for Martin who thrives off of points in transition and using his superior speed to beat his opponents.

When Martin arrives on LSU campus, he should immediately become the team’s starting power forward. While he will have his struggles, especially in learning both the Tigers’ offensive and defensive playbooks, he will quickly become the team’s standout player. His flashy dunks, nice shooting stroke and offensive potential will shine through and make him one of the Tigers’ top option fairly quickly

I expect Martin to lead the team in scoring, average a high number of rebounds and help lead the team into the NCAA tournament. This is a LSU team that is surging quickly and Martin’s addition makes them all the more dangerous, especially as an offensive juggernaut. It is strongly believed that if Martin has a good season and receives some lottery buzz from the NBA, he will not be around more than one year.

Hopefully for the Tigers that isn’t the case and Martin wants to be with the team for a few seasons. Given time to catch up to his pears, Martin could easily become one of the best players in the nation and compete for a national player of the year trophy. That being said, the odds are high that he would need to spend more than year at LSU to accomplish that feat.