ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

ASU guard Remy Martin: ‘Our potential is definitely through the roof’

Nov 21, 2020, 11:00 AM | Updated: 1:10 pm

Arizona State guard Remy Martin celebrates a score against Arizona during the second half of an NCA...

Arizona State guard Remy Martin celebrates a score against Arizona during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Arizona 66-65. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Coming back to Tempe for his senior year in August was natural for Arizona State guard Remy Martin after exploring the NBA Draft during the summer.

Martin, who averaged 19.1 points per game as a junior last year, discussed that decision and more on Friday’s episode of 98.7 FM Arizona Sports’ All Aboard with Herm Edwards.

Martin said his decision to return to ASU stemmed from a mixture of not being able to workout for NBA teams during the pre-draft process, as well as feeling like he had unfinished business to tend to with the Sun Devils.

“I wasn’t going to be able to go through the normal process of being able to play against guys. Being able to make a stamp and make sure that my name’s out there a little bit more,” Martin said.

“And I think ultimately, it was the best decision for Remy Martin. I think that I really, really respect coach and my teammates for wanting the best for me. They wanted to push and see where I could go and change my life. And they were so supportive of it.”

Martin and the 2020-21 Sun Devils became the fifth in school history to be named to the AP preseason poll. Arizona State is ranked 18th heading into the team’s opener on Wednesday against Baylor, who is ranked No. 2 in the same poll.

The 6-foot senior also was named a preseason All-American by the Associated Press, becoming the first Sun Devil to receive such an honor since Ike Diogu in 2003-04.

Martin told host Tim Healey that the team-wide and personal accolades don’t mean much if the Sun Devils don’t succeed on the court this season.

“I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been on the side where I haven’t been nominated for anything, not Pac-12, not anything and I had to go out and earn it myself,” Martin said. “And now that it’s out there in front of my eyes, it still doesn’t mean much. The grind continues to be the same, I’m still the same.”

Martin said he’ll likely enjoy the achievement once his playing career wraps up but for now, his focus is squarely on the season ahead.

“Looking back on it years after I’m done, it’ll be pretty cool,” Martin said. “Especially somebody like Ike that’s the first to do it, right? I think that’s great because Ike still comes around, he’s like a big bro to me.

“So when I think about it in that aspect I think it’s pretty cool, but as of right now in the present I don’t think much of it.”

Martin believes the Sun Devils can achieve great things this season, thanks to having depth in the front- and backcourt.

He spotlighted the dynamic play that freshmen Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley have played with in practice, combined with the on-court growth from returnees like Alonzo Verge Jr. and Jalen Graham, as specific reasons for optimism.

“I think the talent level and potential is definitely through the roof, probably better than all the previous teams,” Martin said. “But I feel like it’s a mixture of all the teams that I’ve been a part of.”

All of those components combine to create a conference title contender in Martin’s eyes, as ASU looks to reach new heights as a program.

It’s been more than eight months since Martin and company took the court for a game and the senior is champing at the bit to get the season started.

Martin believes the Sun Devils will be ready to go next week, when they’ll face the second-ranked Bears in the Mohegan Sun Tournament.

The Sun Devils will then play either Boston College or Villanova on Thanksgiving, the latter of which is ranked No. 3 in the AP preseason poll.

Martin believes that coach Bobby Hurley and his staff have done everything they can to get the team ready for battle.

“Coach Hurley’s done a great job before the season,” Martin said. “The last two years we went on that long streak where we didn’t lose for a very long time. But it shows that we can come out strong. He’ll get us prepared.

“We haven’t focused much on Baylor yet, we’re still focused on ourselves and getting little things moved around. But I think that coach Hurley and myself and whole staff will make sure that we’ll come out and we’ll be ready to go.”

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