Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season. Today, we continue our countdown with #8 Hassan Martin.
Man, is the A-10 losing a highlight machine this offseason… Sadly, players gotta graduate and that means our time enjoying Hassan Martin in this conference has come to an end. Rhody’s intimidator thrilled us with highlight-worthy plays on both ends of the floor and thankfully got to take those skills to the NCAA tournament before his departure. We’ll enjoy watching his professional journey, wherever it takes him, but before we do…how about a victory lap remembering one of the baddest dudes the A-10 has seen?
Martin filled his senior seasons with consistent performances that were huge in returning Rhode Island back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. He was arguably the best two-way player in the A-10 this season, opening his final year of college play with a 12-point, 10-rebound, 7-block performance against Darthmouth, one of his five double-doubles on the season. Martin was key in two major conference games, averaging 15.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and 2 blocks in wins over Davidson and VCU at the end of the regular season, then once again dominated both teams in Pittsburgh en route to Rhode Island A-10 tournament championship weekend. Martin was key in Rhody’s first round NCAA tournament win as well, going for 12 and 8 against Creighton but perhaps more importantly, helping limit 7′ Blue Jay big Justin Patton to just 3-11 shooting (a 67% shooter on the season) while fouling him out in the process. Ram fans won’t forget that night or Martin’s role in the victory.
I’ve been waiting all offseason to gush about just how underrated Martin still somehow went this year (which is why he was my personal No.1 in my submitted rankings) and have the stats to prove it.
A few huge ones: player efficiency rating of 28.1 (1st in the A-10), effective field goal percentage 59.5% (1st in the A-10), blocks per game 2.3 (1st in the A-10), blocks percentage 9.6 (1st in the A-10), win shares per 40 21.8 (1st in the A-10), box plus/minus 8.7 (1st in the A-10). Those are just the ones he led — PER and BoxP/M being two particularly huge ones. He was right up there on a number of other statistical categories (offensive and defensive rating, total rebound percentage, etc).
Martin was a model of efficiency this season and was the perfect plug-in player for Dan Hurley on both sides of the ball. All he did was produce, yet wasn’t your ball hog volume type, the kind of player awards voters have a tendency to reward despite the fact they aren’t always helping their team. Gimme a team full of Hassan Martin’s and I’d be one happy GM/coach. The fact that he wasn’t a first-team selection and just BARELY made this year’s A-10 Second Team…blows…my…mind.
See above. The most efficient player on the A-10 tourney champ team, Martin drew fouls, defended, rebounded and was perhaps the player that best represented Rhode Island’s team identity. Ram fans will hope he served as a great mentor to guys like Cyril Langevine as well, drawing the blueprints for future URI bigs to succeed under Dan Hurley while keeping the program at the top of the A-10.