With few top high school prospects left uncommitted, it’s likely that John Calipari will look for a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility if he is to add to his incoming class of 2014.
Xavier announced Friday that junior small forward Justin Martin plans to graduate this spring and transfer to another school for his final season of college. A school spokesman said that Martin will be granted permission to contact other programs once he completes his undergraduate degree.
He’s one of the few known graduate transfers that might make sense for the Cats next season.
The 6-foot-6 player averaged 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Musketeers this past season. He made 50 of 134 three-point attempts (37.3 percent), and was the second-leading scorer and rebounder on a team that earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Small forward is also the only position that UK didn’t sign a player for in this recruiting class. The Cats should have a loaded frontcourt in 2014-15, but there is no one on that roster who would be considered a true small forward. If James Young and the Harrison twins leave for the NBA, UK could also use another player who is comfortable on the perimeter.
Martin was committed to Louisville for more than six months as a high school underclassmen before backing out of that pledge. When he did, Kentucky was one of the top schools that he stayed in contact with before committing to Xavier. That contact came within the first few months of Calipari taking the job in Lexington.
Scout.com ranked Martin as the No. 87 overall prospect in the class of 2010. The Indianapolis native played one year at a prep school in West Virginia before heading to Xavier for the 2011-12 season.