Tyrese Martin leaving UConn, declares for NBA Draft

Published on Wednesday, 23 March 2022 19:57

Journal Inquirer

Tyrese Martin is saying goodbye to the UConn men’s basketball program.

The 6-foot-6 guard announced Tuesday night via his Instagram account that he will not return in the 2022-23 season for a fifth season of college basketball.

“I have decided to forgo my extra year of eligibility and will pursue my professional career and intend on entering the 2022 NBA draft,” Martin wrote in his social media post.

Martin averaged 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season, marks that were third-best and second-best on his team this season, respectively.

Martin played his first two seasons of college basketball at Rhode Island before transferring to UConn for his final two.

“UConn Nation … I want to thank you for all the love and support these past two years,” Martin wrote. “Being able to play my senior year in front of you guys, as we hype each other up after big plays and wins, there was literally nothing else like it. You all were very welcoming and I appreciate that to the fullest.

“To my coaches, I want to thank you guys for bringing me into this program and believing in me to help get this program back to where it belongs and also challenging and pushing me to limits I didn’t think I could get through,” Martin added.

In addition to Martin, UConn will also lose forwards Isaiah Whaley and Tyler Polley this offseason. Point guard R.J. Cole has the opportunity to use an extra year of eligibility and remain with the Huskies, but he has yet to reveal his plans for the upcoming season.

The Huskies’ season ended Thursday with a 70-63 loss to New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The team qualified for NCAA play in both of Martin’s two seasons, though it suffered an opening-round exit both times.

Though he didn’t reveal his future plans at the time, Martin was emotional immediately following the loss.

“It was emotional just knowing that was the last 40 minutes of basketball that we’re going to be able to play with that group together,” Martin said. “So it was kind of like stunning and said, shocking, a whole lot of different emotions.”

The NCAA gave all athletes an extra year of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whaley and Polley both played a fifth season of college basketball in 2021-22 for UConn. Martin could have played a fifth season if he wanted to, as well.

After the New Mexico State game, Martin lamented the fact that the Huskies couldn’t advance further in the tournament despite being such a close group.

“I wouldn’t want to go to war without any one of those guys that were out there with me today, even the ones that didn’t get in the game,” Martin said. “Going through what we went through, it hurts going out how we went out. We’re fighters. We just couldn’t get over that hump.”

Posted in The Bristol Press, UConn on Wednesday, 23 March 2022 19:57. Updated: Wednesday, 23 March 2022 20:00.