After a somewhat surprising omission from any regular season All-Big East honors, Tyrese Martin channeled his frustration into some of the best basketball of his career. The Allentown, Pennsylvania native was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team Saturday night after two big time performances against Seton Hall and Villanova.
Martin was joined by Providence’s Al Durham, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Arthur Kaluma of Creighton, and Justin Moore and Collin Gillespie of Villanova. Gillespie was also named the Big East Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Martin did a little bit of everything in the Huskies’ quarterfinal win over Seton Hall, scoring 17 points and adding eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. While Martin’s offense filled the stat sheet, his defense on Seton Hall’s guards helped UConn put together one of its best defensive performances of the season and advance to the semifinals.
Against Villanova, Martin kept his hot shooting streak going, adding 19 points with seven rebounds and two steals. He hit four threes against the Wildcats, many of which came in the second half as the Huskies did everything they could to stick around and keep Nova’s lead to single digits.
Martin finished his two games at Madison Square Garden shooting 5-14 (35.7 percent) from deep. While he has always been able to use his size for rebounds and posting up smaller guards down low, his development as a shooter has helped the Huskies’ offense thrive this season. Martin is shooting 42.7 percent from three this season, up from 32 percent last year on significantly less attempts.
He heads into the NCAA Tournament averaging 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Huskies, which ranks third and second on the team respectively.