After an injury-plagued three years in the Cal Poly men’s basketball program, redshirt junior forward Josh Martin has decided to pursue other opportunities as a graduate transfer.
Martin has one more year of NCAA eligibility left after taking a medical redshirt following a season-ending foot injury in 2016. During his three years at Cal Poly, Martin averaged 7.4 points and 5 rebounds per game after transferring from the University of Minnesota in 2015. This past season, he was the team’s fourth-highest scorer and leading rebounder.
“The number one thing is that Josh can finish his degree this spring,” head coach Joe Callero said. “I am really proud of him for doing this the right way because if you can finish your degree and open the door up for other opportunities in your college career, I am fully supportive of that.”
Martin, who was once a three-star recruit out of Bothell High School in the Seattle area, was forced to sit out his first year at Cal Poly due to NCAA transfer rules. A season-ending foot injury forced him to take a redshirt year after only five games and he missed almost the entire 2016 season.
During his time at Cal Poly, Martin showed signs of his potential when he recorded his third career collegiate double-double with 17 points and a career-high 21 rebounds at Pepperdine in 2016, which ranked as the highest single-game total in Cal Poly’s 23-season Division I era, just four shy of the Mustang program record.
“He tried to put his heart and soul on the floor and his legacy is that you could see the potential and you could see the frustrations he had with injuries and some of the rules throughout his career,” Callero said.
Another injury this season caused Martin to miss six games early on and when he returned, he started for nine games before finishing the final 10 games of the season coming off the bench.
Martin’s former teammate junior guard Donovan Fields said the Mustangs will miss Martin’s talents on the court.
“I’ll always remember how athletic he is; definitely one of the most athletic guys I’ve ever played with,” Fields said. “The team will most definitely miss his rebounding ability.”
Callero also noted Martin’s athleticism.
“His ability to make uncoachable plays, I mean his athleticism, you know, he had some exciting plays that you don’t coach,” Callero said. “And a guy who tried to give you every single thing every day and fought through injuries.”
Callero said he is proud of the effort Martin showed in the classroom along with senior forward Aleks Abrams who will also graduate this spring.
With Martin gone as well as Abrams and senior forward Luke Meikle, Cal Poly will need to find a way to to make up for the rebounding effort if they hope to be competitive in the Big West next season.
“We will have to work hard in the offseason in the weight room, especially to get stronger,” Fields said. “But someone will have to step up. Just going to have to wait and see who that will be.”
Martin declined to be interviewed.