One year ago, it didn’t take LSU freshman forward Jarell Martin long to decide he would bypass the NBA draft and return to school for his sophomore season.
Likewise, it didn’t take long for Martin to decide he would forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility.
Five days after LSU’s season came to an end with a 66-65 loss to North Carolina State in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, two sources confirmed late Tuesday night to The Advocate that Martin will enter the NBA draft.
The deadline for applying for the draft is April 26, with the draft scheduled for June 25.
One source said Martin has already informed LSU coach Johnny Jones of his decision, which comes as no surprise considering Martin had a strong second half of the season en route to earning first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors.
“I talked to him (Martin) tonight … he’s already met with Johnny (Jones),” a source close to Martin told The Advocate. “I believe the plan is for there to be an announcement, a press conference, at either 1 o’clock or 2 o’clock (Wednesday).”
Jones is scheduled to meet with media for his season-ending news conference about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday.
A McDonald’s All-American coming out of Madison Prep, Martin’s college career got off to a rocky start when he sprained his ankle in his first game in an LSU uniform in the Tigers’ 2013-14 season opener.
The 6-foot-10 Martin struggled throughout the season with the injury as well with a position switch to the small forward position, and he averaged 10.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as the Tigers reached the National Invitation Tournament.
As a sophomore, however, Martin stayed healthy all season and teamed with fellow sophomore forward Jordan Mickey to give LSU a potent 1-2 punch down low.
Martin led LSU in scoring with 16.9 points per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and ranked second to Mickey with 9.2 rebounds per contest. Martin was third in the SEC in all three of those categories.
He scored a career-high 28 points in a 70-63 win over Florida at home on Feb. 21 and twice this season had a career-high 16 rebounds. He also had a career-best six blocked shots in a victory over South Carolina on Jan. 28.
Mickey, who Tuesday issued a statement refuting a national report earlier in the day that he was leaning toward the NBA draft, led the SEC in rebounding with 9.9 per game and the nation with 3.6 blocks per game in addition to averaging 15.4 points a game to rank second behind Martin.
In 65 career games, Martin scored in double figures in 46 of them with 16 double-double games. His last double-double came in the bitter loss to North Carolina State with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Martin and Mickey were both named first-team picks on the All-SEC squads chosen by the conference’s 14 coaches and by writers and broadcasters who cover the league on a regular basis.
The frontcourt duo was also named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District VII team, which consists of colleges and universities in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Advocate sportswriter Robin Fambrough contributed to this report.