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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

KU lands commitment from 3-time Division II All-American Cam Martin

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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Although he was known most for his ability as a shooter, former Kansas guard Jeff Boschee picked up an assist for the program this week, when he helped the Jayhawks land a commitment from Missouri Southern big man Cam Martin.

Martin, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward from Yukon, Okla., was a three-time All-American for Boschee at Division II Missouri Southern in Joplin, Mo.

After another solid season in 2020-21, when he led the team in scoring (25 points per game) and rebounding (9.1) and shot 58% from the floor and 45% from 3-point range on 110 attempts, the versatile forward started to receive offers from high-major Division I programs.

Martin told the Journal-World on Wednesday that he thought he was headed to Texas but then UT coach Shaka Smart left for Marquette. The other programs on his list of finalists, which he made just six days ago, were Georgetown, UNLV, Creighton, Colorado State and Stetson.

Not long after he narrowed his list to a final six, Martin received a call from KU coach Bill Self that changed everything.

The call might not have ever come had it not been for Boschee’s decision to send Martin’s highlight film to the Kansas basketball offices.

“He had been getting some high-major/Big 12 offers,” Boschee told the Journal-World in a phone interview from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “So I just told them that I wanted to make sure I sent his tape to them, too, in case they were interested.”

Martin and Self talked on Monday. They met again via Zoom on Tuesday. And the whole thing was done shortly thereafter.

“After talking to Coach Self, I said, I’m not going to waste any more coaches’ time,’ and I told him that I was ready to commit to Kansas,” Martin told the Journal-World. “It was a feeling that I can’t even describe. It was amazing.”

Boschee said Self raved about Martin's skills when the two coaches talked on the phone. Boschee also noted that the more film Self watched the more impressed he became, noting that it usually goes the other direction when watching recruiting tapes.

Boschee describes Martin as a versatile big man who has “unbelievable touch around the basket” and the ability to shoot the ball from the 3-point line with consistency.

He made six 3-pointers in a game for the Lions this season and also has a nine-make game on his resume. Although the speed of the game and the adjustment to guarding elite guards in ball screen defense is something that will take some getting used to, Boschee said Martin was ready to make the leap in every other way.

He said his star forward routinely scored on the block against double and triple teams and noted that he’s not likely to see that kind of attention while on the floor with the Jayhawks, which should help free him up to be a solid scorer.

“He’s not going to wow anybody in the weight room,” Boschee said. “But he’s country strong. He’s not going to get pushed around on the block.”

Boschee said Martin was “very coachable,” and Martin himself said his only concern at Kansas will be to help the team win in whatever way he can.

The former Jacksonville State player, who transferred to Missouri Southern after his freshman season, will be on scholarship and will play the 2021-22 season as a graduate transfer.

“He’s got a ton of potential,” Boschee said. “And he definitely didn’t need to stick around our place any longer. I’m really happy for him. The only thing I told him was that I wanted a spot in the stands to watch him on Senior Night.”

Although he always had hopes of playing at college basketball’s highest level, there was a time when Martin nearly quit basketball altogether.

“I just wasn’t having fun playing basketball anymore,” he said.

That all changed when he met Boschee and made it to Missouri Southern, which sits three hours northeast of his hometown.

His bond with Boschee, and the ability to play the game the way he liked to play it — shooting 3s, playing fast, within a team structure — helped him fall in love with the game all over again.

That led to consistent production, a long list of accolades and, ultimately, to Kansas, where Martin will report sometime in early June.

“I never thought it would be Kansas,” Martin said. “But I always thought I was good enough to go play wherever I wanted. Coach Boschee really helped me believe that, too. I look at him as more than just a coach. He’s family for life.”

Asked what the moment was like when he told his current coach that he was headed north to play for his alma mater, Martin called the phone call with Boschee “awesome.”

“I knew he was in Cabo, but I called him right after I told Coach Self and my parents,” Martin said. “He told me, ‘Don’t get cocky, but be confident and go do what you do.’”

None by Cam Martin

Comments

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks ago

Pulled him up on youtube......he can stretch the floor capable of shooting the 3 ,can also bang a little in the block , so we will see

David Robinett 3 weeks ago

Does this take the slot that we were going to use for the potential seven footer?

Ted Hume 3 weeks ago

I swear I haven't seen a slower, more lumbering big man since Greg Ostertag (who by comparison looked like Devon Dotson). Are you serious? Sure he an shoot, but he won't be able to stay on the court long enough to put up a three if our offense is what we expect it to be...happy for him but WTF?

Ted Hume 3 weeks ago

this is how we get more athletic, adding a 5-minute a game rotation back-up 5 to give McCormack a breather and play hack-a-shack defense on opposing bigs for 2 minutes a half? I guess it fills a roll if at least on the practice squad helping our game quad improve. Still hoping for mr. 7'5 wingspan explosive freshman to pick us...

Keith Gellar 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I agree. Not impressed by this. We want to go big and fast, not slow. F on this signing.

Brett McCabe 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bill is tanking. He knows the penalty is about to hit, so he’s not even trying for next year.

Dirty coach. Dirty program. This is how it ends, scrambling around for transfers.

Fire this dude, raze that abomination, pay the penance and get going on the good side again.

Glen Miller 2 weeks, 6 days ago

So we "lost"......... a wing who can't defend or shoot all that well and obviously wasn't improving enough in those areas to play more (Grant-Foster). A big man who looked like might contribute in Jr or Sr year, or might not (Muscadine). And a wing who for two years was touted as a guy who could become one of our most important pieces and never did because he wasn't aggressive enough (Enaruna). In the meantime, we've brought in a High School Senior point guard and a 3 time All-American (I don't really care if it's DII) Big man that can shoot the 3. So we've lost rotational players and added a possible starting point guard and a big who will help stretch the floor for spurts and will give McCormack someone to go up against every day of practice that does exactly what is McCormack's kryptonite defensively........... yeah, Coach Self is tanking. It must be hard to be as bitter and ignorant as you are. Why do you come on here if you hate this team so much?

Layne Pierce 2 weeks, 6 days ago

OK Brett let me get this straight, Self is trying to take KU down and anybody he recruits can't be any good. Interesting that Muscadin is leaving too. Mitch is back, but Mitch is not must of an outside shooter.

Let's let the facts speak for themselves, Bill Self is not a dirty coach, and we do not have a dirty program, just because we are accused by the NCAA does not mean we are guilty. We have a relationship with a shoe company, so does every other college in the nation. Rather than do something about that, the NCAA is looking for scapegoats.

Who do you consider a clean coach? I would really like to know?

RCJH

James Donnell 2 weeks, 6 days ago

He can stroke it. Check. He is big. Check. He can dunk. Check. These are all things we need. And he is experienced, albeit at division II. We will have to see how he competes in the Big 12. Hopefully he can rebound, which we badly need. But I would say we should give him a chance. We need immediate help in the front court.

Allin Herring 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Wow so the Juco level did not pan out (see Grant-Foster) so lets move down a level and pick up D-2 recurit. Sounds like a program ready to implode. We need to find an NBA team to take Self.

Steve Zimmerman 2 weeks, 6 days ago

We just got ourselves a tiger white shaq! Martin looks pretty athletic for a 250 pounder. His style reminds me of Luka Garza.

"Averaged 24.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 58 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line..." - he's ready for div.1 alright.

It'll be interesting to see next season's starting lineup. I can't wait to watch Cam & Curry play together. Look out!!! Jayhawks will be dominant again in B12.

Shannon Gustafson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Here is a little tip for the folks who don't get it: Kansas NEVER plays all 13 players on the roster (or all 14-15 like we may have next year). So you know what that means? That means some of the guys you recruit are practice players that you hope can contribute when needed because of foul trouble, injuries, etc. (see Mitch the last 5 years) while not throwing a hissy-fit because they are buried on the bench.

You know how else a guy like this will help? Think about Dave's biggest weakness (defending bigs on the perimeter who can shoot). What does this guy do? He can shoot and he's a big. So now Dave gets 10 months of practice against the sort of player who tends to kill us playing for a mid-major in the tournament (see the 35 point outing the slow white big guy had for Eastern Washington in round 1 this year).

Also, do you think Boschee has no clue what sort of talent it takes to be helpful at KU? Who's a better talent evaluator for this guy, his coach (a former KU player), or some rando in the comments section of this site?

Furthermore, we traded a 4-5 year project (Muscadin) with a 1 year flyer on an experienced big who won't tie up the scholarship for the next 4 years. Now we can use the scholarship again in a year on someone hopefully more talented than Muscadin or Cam.

So we get to replace Muscadin (who's MAYBE got a shot at being useful in 3-4 years) for a guy who will allow Dave to get better defensively, is likely an upgrade over Mitch as a backup big, can shoot his a55 off from 3 (45%, better than Svi), and because he's not a high ranked recruit (or 18 years old), he's mature enough to understand his role and not be a distraction if he doesn't get a ton of minutes. How do you guys respond to that before he's ever stepped on campus, let alone played for KU? Like a bunch of spoiled a55holes who have no basketball IQ.

Steve Zimmerman 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I tend to agree with Shannon. Cam can provide multiple threats inside & outside - none of our past bigs ever have. Even Embiid. Cam might be a bit on a slow side, but considering his size & weight, maaan... are you kidding me? This dude will rock! Just like Curry will. A guys his size... NBA would love to have his kinds - those who can defend & shoot. Trigger might need some speed, but he's got good release already. If he can't dribble, then I'd worry, but this guy, with his size, can bring the ball, drive and flush. Look at the way he dribbles around the rim. Down low. Gravity. Our bigs will be so much fun to watch next season, trust me.

Buck Bukaty 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Well said Shannon, Steve, and Jonathan,

If you happen to have insight into the Reinsurance marketplace/game, IMO his roster position will be a fruitful policy/premium. This guy got game. His speed is relative to his size and weight. I can only hope and support that it translates to Div I. His former and new coaches have made such actuarial modeling analysis, and I trust them.

Unfortunately we have to listen to the opinions of the usual negative-Nellies who don’t get it. If the NCAA had a mascot it would be the Albatross. Until their Albatross is removed from around our necks we have to work smart to build as best we can considering the competition.

Doug Horn 2 weeks, 6 days ago

In this day and age where players can get a free year and a free transfer(play right away), who can blame them if the writing on the wall tells them they are not going to get in the game until the last few minutes. With Muscadine entering the portal this move makes sense. If anyone watched the video you would know why Self wants this guy. This season one of the things we did very poorly was defend the three point shot. This guy can shot the three and will push us to defend in practice. During games? How helpful would this guy have been this year when we were behind and couldn't hit enough three point shots to come from behind. I don't know if he can play defense, but it's only a one year deal. Bill Self is a Hall of Fame coach and there were many games this year that we won because he was able to get the most out of the roster we had. There didn't seem to be a lot of fire/drive in some of the games and I think that came from lack of leadership from the players. Hopefully next years team will have that with some of the players we are adding.

Jonathan Allison 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Very intriguing signee. He has NBA range and lots of other tools offensively. Will they translate against much stiffer competition. What he lacks in athleticism he seems to make up for with skills and sound play. His shot is nice, not a quick release but you usually don't need one when you are that big.

He and DMac could make a very formidable HiLo inside/outside bigs tandem on offense.

My main concerns would be how will he perform defensively in a system where he will be frequently switching onto guards and guarding more athletic bigs with perimeter and ball handling skills. Also will he be able to finish in the post against Big 12 post defenders.

I think that I like taking a flyer on a guy like this, but right now our bigs rotation is looking pretty weak behind DMac. Not trying to slight Mitch and Cam, Mitch is awesome but he is an energy off the bench guy who can provide a spark, but hasn't shined with extended minutes and Cam is experimental at best right now. Hopefully the guy from Wichita Sunrise will be ready to play at day 1.

Dan Leftwich 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Good take. He has deep range which only is defended by a big coming out. That opens up the lane for our drivers and cutters. He also has a good shot fake and drive action. That won't translate as well to the B12 because the resistance at the rim is like night and day. The proof of the pudding will be whether he can defend at this level. He'll be put in every pick and roll action. So, I think he can be useful in spurts and against certain teams. That's something. Worth a shot.

Jonathan Allison 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Shannon makes some very good points.

Particularly, this guy looks like the kind of player who has killed KU time after time. The kind of homegrown talent who we see end up as 4 and 5 year guys at schools like OU and Texas. Or who we frequently come up against in the NCAA tourney against hot shooting mid-majors.

A skilled big with a long ball who was never an elite recruit but makes up for his athleticism with skills and sound play.

Chad Durbin 2 weeks, 6 days ago

His size reminds me of Baylor’s Vital, who has crushed KU at times, and can shoot a 3? Muscadin didn’t have the size and looked lost when he got in the game. I would take the word of a former player/ coach over some “rando in the comments section”, still chuckling at that one! Step away from the pipe Brett and Ted! Go root for IA St or K St, seems to be where your loyalty lies anyway. HCBS, a Hall of Fame Coach, knows talent and evaluates that talent daily. KU Basketball has a solid program that only other programs wish they could be; TX, Baylor, and OU. You don’t see Duke, NC, Kentucky, Michigan St, fans asking to remove their coaches after a deplorable season, which they all suffered this season! KU was the only blue blood that made it to a 2nd game of the tourney.

Benjamin Shear 2 weeks, 6 days ago

He can extend the defense, he also seems to be pretty aggressive on the post, much less of a finesse player. Burt he also looks slow. It will be interesting to see how he works out.

Robin Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

dude looks like a baller to me

3-time AA at any collegiate level is a badass

Steve Zimmerman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Let this guy enter Nijem's gym, he'll transform to look like Garza. More speed, more agility, more strength. In no time. Can't wait..!!

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