ASU Basketball: Senior Remy Martin Will be Returning to ASU and AllSunDevils Round Table Discusses
No Michael Jordan-like "I'm Back" fax came in for Arizona State basketball on Sunday, but it might as well have.
Point guard Remy Martin is returning to ASU for his senior season after previously entering in the NBA Draft.
Martin scored 19.1 points per game last season, second-most in the conference, and made first-team All-Pac-12. His decision to team up with senior Alonzo Verge Jr., who announced he was returning for his senior year on July 18 and top recruited freshmen wings Josh Christopher (five-star) and Marcus Bagley has brought a lot of attention to ASU from national media.
Could this be the Sun Devil squad that wins the Pac-12 for the first time?
Let's see what national analysts are saying:
What ASU has working in its favor is a blend of impactful players from last season like Martin with a high-ceiling freshmen core.
ASU has the Pac-12's second-highest rated recruiting class by 247Sports, just behind Arizona.
Last year, the "Guard U" Sun Devils shot and made a lot of three-pointers and were the Pac-12's highest-scoring offense in conference play. Christopher, Bagley and perhaps four-star forward Pavlo Dzuiba should help reinforce that aspect.
ASU finished tied for third in the conference last year.
Oregon had the best record, but the Pac-12 Player of the Year Payton Pritchard graduated. The Ducks have a lot of returning talent, but losing a 20-point scorer requires others to step up.
UCLA and USC were ahead of and tied with ASU, respectively, last year and could be obstacles again.
The Bruins were the hottest Pac-12 team down the stretch last year, and they're bringing back much of the unit that clicked.
USC will have a new look this year as it lost its top-five scorers and added perhaps the most enticing freshman in the conference in Evan Mobley (247Sports ranked him third in the country).
ASU's path to winning the conference likely starts by putting up mammoth offensive numbers, and it seems to have an ideal roster to do so.
On to Borzello and Goodman's (Stadium) shared point.
If Martin leads ASU to its first Pac-12 crown, then his case for Player of the Year becomes hefty. He's grown from Pac-12 Sixth-Man of the Year to second-team to first- team. There's only one more step to take.
The last Sun Devil to make an All-American team was James Harden in 2009.
But, nine of last year's 10 All-Americans are headed to the draft, with Iowa's Luke Garza as the exception. Pritchard made the first-team last season, so the Pac-12 was recently recognized.
A lot of Martin's potential accomplishments would seemingly go together. If he leads a high-powered ASU offense, scores a lot and the team wins the conference; he could get Pac-12 Player of the Year. Then, the national accolades could fall in line.
The highest-ranked Sun Devil team in the history of the AP preseason poll was No. 6 back in 1963-64 when Jumpin' Joe Caldwell was the star, according to Sports Reference.
Since then, ASU has cracked the preseason top-20 mark just twice, most recently in 2008.
ASU could be back there, as Torres suggests. Martin could become a top-three scorer in ASU history if he stays healthy and scores at a similar rate to last year. Christopher is the highest rated Sun Devil recruit in school history (247Sports). That's a lot to look forward to for Sun Devil fans.