LSU sophomore power forward Jarell Martin will enter the NBA draft, two sources tell Randy Rosetta of The Times-Picayune. The 6’9″ 20-year-old, who’ll turn 21 in May, is the 29th-best prospect on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and the 35th-best with Chad Ford of ESPN.com, making him a fringe first-round candidate. Martin has until April 26th to officially enter the draft, though he can withdraw and retain his college eligibility no later than April 12th.
Martin played a face-up game last season with current Bucks big man Johnny O’Bryant and fellow top prospect Jordan Mickey on the interior, but with O’Bryant gone this year, LSU moved Martin inside midway through the season, as Rosetta details. That sparked an upturn that helped him to averages of 16.9 points and 9.2 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game, making him the team’s leading scorer. He put up 16 points and 11 rebounds in LSU’s loss to N.C. State last week in the opening game of the NCAA tournament for both teams.
Martin was the 12th-ranked prospect coming out of high school in 2013, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, a few spots ahead of late-bloomer Joel Embiid, last year’s No. 3 overall NBA draft pick. Mickey, Martin’s LSU teammate, was No. 38 on that recruiting list, and he’s reportedly leaning toward declaring for the draft, too.