From Marshall Sports Information
And Additional Material By
Woody Woodrum, HI Sr. Editor
HUNTINGTON – Marshall University head men’s basketball coach Tom Herrion has announced the signing of Chris Martin to a National Letter of Intent to begin play for the Thundering Herd next season.
Martin, a senior at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J., joins the Herd as a freshman point guard in 2011-12.
Hoop Scoop has Martin ranked as one of the top 110 seniors in the country
“We are really excited that Chris has joined our Marshall Basketball family, he is a terrific player and an outstanding young man,” Herrion said.
“Chris played at a very high level this past year at St Patrick’s against excellent competition and for an outstanding coach in Kevin Boyle, this experience will help him in his transition to college basketball.”
The 6-foot Washington D.C. native, who left for the Celtics and St. John’s H.S. in D.C. for “personal reasons,” helped St. Patrick to a 26-1 mark last season and a No. 3 ranking in the ESPN Rise Fab 50.
The only loss for the Celtics came to St. Anthony, who finished a perfect 33-0 and tops in the nation.
Martin averaged 13.5 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
Joining Martin on this season’s team at St. Patrick were Michael Gilchrist, who is attending Kentucky as the top recruit in the nation and Western Kentucky recruit Derrick Gordon, who is ranked 96th.
Chris Martin, who starred for St. Patrick's last year after playing at St. John's H.S. in Washington, D.C., signed with the Thundering Herd on Monday to play point guard for Marshall after senior point Damier Pitts is done after the 2011-12 season. photo courtesy of cuttingdownthenets.com
Martin previously played at St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C. and for the DC Assault.
Then last year, Martin played for the AAU’s Westchester Hawks before heading to St. Patrick’s.
“Chris will add depth to our guard rotation, we see him playing as a point guard and his ability to shoot the ball is a welcomed quality for our team,” Herrion continued.
“My staff has done a marvelous job in assembling this outstanding class to date and deserves all the credit.”
The guard joins an already impressive recruiting class for Herrion, which also includes Dennis Tinnon, Jamir Hanner and Devince Boykins, who were signed in November of 2010.
Marshall also has sitting out prop shooter Justin Coleman of Huntington Prep, who originally signed with Louisville of the Big East, and Marquette transfer center Yous Mboa, a 7-foot-2 player who won the Coaches Award as the hardest worker for MU in practice during his year out. Non-qualifier P.J. Kambola is also sitting out, taking classed on-line from Toronto.
Charleston Daily Mail writer Chuck McGill caught up with Martin after his official visit Saturday at Marshall.
“I really like the guys on the team and this is where I can play and make an early impact,” Martin told McGill on Saturday after returning home from the MU visit.
“That’s all I was looking for, and I found a good group of guys that will be my friends for a while.
“It seemed like a real good fit for me.”
Marshall will also reportedly have former Iona commitment Isaiah Williams, a 6-foot-7 wing, attending MU as a non-qualifier as Coleman did this past year.
ESPN rated Martin an overall 84, and 108th at his position nationally.
His strengths were: Martin is a scoring guard who is always in attack mode and can put the ball in the basket in a number of different ways. He has a ton of lift on his jumper and so can get it off at virtually anytime, both off the catch from behind the arc or in the mid-range area with his dribble. He has a strong and compact college ready body, can make bully drives to the rim, and defends the ball diligently on the other end of the court.
ESPN listed weaknesses as well: While Martin can play with the ball in his hands he is best suited as a two guard and undersized for that position. He has far too much of a scorer's mentality to play the point as he hunts shots at times, forcing low percentage looks. He also needs to further develop his ball skills so that he can handle and pass against pressure without getting sped up.
Bottom Line: When best utilized Martin is an off the ball scorer who can compensate for his lack of size with his bouncy athleticism, college ready body, and aggressive two way game.
McGill also reported in the Monday edition of the Daily Mail the son of former Marshall standout, Andy Paul Williamson, may be an invited walk-on for the Herd program.
Former Logan High School star Paul Herbert Williamson visited the Marshall campus last week. The 6-3 Williamson is the Wildcats' all-time leading scorer.
He will visit West Virginia later this week. The spot with the Mountaineers would also be as an invited walk-on.
His sister, Andi Williamson, is a sophomore pitcher for the Herd softball program, after signing with Tennessee and playing there as a freshman.
Former walk-ons Noah Fischer and Xavier Humphrey, son of former Herd standout John Humphrey who, like Williamson played at MU for the late Rick Huckabay, will both transfer to the University of Charleston for more playing time.
Parkersburg walk-on Justin Howe is coming back to MU for his second year as a walk-on. Fischer was at Marshall for two seasons from Ripley H.S. (his brother, Chase, will be a frosh at Wake Forest this season) and Humphrey is leaving after one year after starring at Huntington High his senior year in both basketball and winning the state meet in the high jump.
Also leaving is senior guard to be Johnny Higgins, who might also transfer in the WVIAC or head back home to Baltimore to get more playing time. Grad student Johnny Thomas, who graduated from N.C. State in three years and was a leader for the Herd last year, was said to be gone to play professionally in Europe.
But Herrion told Rick McCann of The Herald-Dispatch on Tuesday, "He's exploring all his options," so as long as he doesn't sign with an agent, he could return for one more season at MU. Thomas scored 9.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the 22-12 Herd in 2010-11.
Even Elaudio Espinosa, who was hit in the throat in a practice and miss most of last season, is back working out with the Herd and may return or end up as a medical, meaning his scholarship would not count against the 13 Marshall may have on to play.
"By late August, I'll be at 13 (scholarships)," Herrion told McCann.