Ole Miss had all of one open scholarship this spring. So, head coach Andy Kennedy took his time, afforded the luxury of being selective.
And nearly a month after the spring singing period officially opened, Kennedy found his man, as Forestville, Md., point guard Jerron Martin committed to the Rebels. He visited Ole Miss officially over the weekend.
“It feels great. It’s just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” Martin said of his commitment to Ole Miss. “The stressful journey finally came to an end, and I’m happy with my choice. I can’t wait to get to Ole Miss.”
The 6-foot-1 Martin said he picked up a number of late offers, but his decision ultimately came down to Ole Miss and Cal State Fullerton. Southern Cal was among his finalists, as well, but the Trojans never offered.
His visit to Ole Miss helped solidify his decision.
“Mississippi, going into it I didn’t really know what to expect. But when I got on campus, I loved the campus feel. It’s really nice,” he said. “The dorms are nice, the people there are nice and the Southern love, it’s just different from up here. The facilities were really good, and the coaches showed me a lot of love. I just felt really comfortable when I was down in Mississippi.”
Martin transferred from Bishop McNamara to Princeton Day midway through his senior year. He averaged 15.5 points per game and helped lead the Storm to a 33-13 record. He knocked down 54 3-pointers and shot 81 percent from the free throw.
Ole Miss already has two experienced point guards on its roster in junior Jarvis Summers and sophomore Derrick Millinghaus, both of whom started games for the Rebels last season. Summers started 31 to Millinghaus’ five. Summers ranked third on the team in scoring behind returning senior Marshall Henderson and departed forward Murphy Holloway.
Martin said Kennedy only wants him to come in and compete.
“He knows that I’m a good ball-handler and good at creating opportunities, whether it be for myself or for others,” he said. “He just told me to come in with a positive attitude, willing to learn and work hard. I’m just ready to get there and show what I can do and be a part of Rebel nation.”
Ole Miss finished the 2012-13 season with a 27-9 record, including an appearance in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. The Rebels won an SEC tournament championship, as well as its first-round meeting with Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.
“The future for Ole Miss basketball is extremely bright,” Martin said. “I see a lot of championships. This past year, we won an SEC championship and the years coming up, I just feel like we’ll be able to repeat that. The future’s really bright for Ole Miss basketball, and they’re getting a lot of support from the community now, too.” — Ben Garrett, OMSpirit.com