Amidst a global pandemic and a crazy transfer season, UConn men’s basketball’s scholarship situation is starting to get some clarity. After Alterique Gilbert and Sidney Wilson both announced their decision to transfer, Dan Hurley filled one of those vacant spots Tuesday afternoon as Rhode Island guard Tyrese Martin announced his decision to transfer to Storrs.
Martin, who was recruited by Hurley while the Huskies’ head coach was still at URI, played two seasons in Kingston before leaving. Barring a waiver, he will sit out the 2020-21 season and suit up for UConn at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, where he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
At 6-foot-6, the Allentown, Pennsylvania native should provide some much needed physicality to an otherwise small Huskies backcourt. Much like former UConn guard Christian Vital, Martin excels at rebounding for a guard. He was second on the team in rebounding at seven boards per game and posted three double-doubles for Rhody this past season.
Martin’s no slouch as a scorer either. He averaged 12.8 points per game this season as a sophomore after averaging just over eight a game as a freshman. This past season, he shot 32.1 percent from three and 43.3 percent from the field. While he isn’t exactly a sharpshooter, he should be a solid and versatile bench at worst and at best could push for a starting spot alongside R.J. Cole and Jalen Gaffney in 2021.
The addition of Martin means that UConn still has one more scholarship available for next season. While Hurley and the Huskies have enough depth to get by with 10 scholarship players — realistically nine given the nature of Akok Akok’s injury — a grad transfer is the best bet if UConn has serious hopes of making a run in the NCAA tournament.
GRID UPDATE— tcf15 (@tcf_15) April 7, 2020
Tyrese Martin is transferring to UConn from URI.
Scout's take on him from @Stadium: “Talented and physical wing who made a huge jump from his freshman season. Competes, wants to win and someone that you want on your team.”
One scholarship left for next year. pic.twitter.com/BGHYIIqZny