After reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, the LSU basketball program has already received a lot of expectations for the 2015-2016 season.
Head coach Johnny Jones was planning on acclimating the No. 1 overall recruit in the country, Ben Simmons, five-star shooting guard Antonio Blakeny, and heralded transfer Craig Victor to the trio of Jarell Martin, Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman to form a very dangerous squad.
But that plan was put to rest on Wednesday.
Jarell Martin announced he would forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2015 NBA Draft. Martin’s stock has been rising after he stepped up his game and performed very well in the second half of the season. Although most experts agree that staying in school for his junior year would be beneficial, Martin is expected to be chosen in the late first round or early second round of the upcoming draft.
Martin averaged 16.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and was also named to the AP All-SEC first team.
The Tigers are waiting to see if Mickey will also enter the NBA draft, but some believe he is more likely to stay in school for his junior campaign then join Martin in the draft. However, Mickey’s departure is still on the table and will take his time to decide on his future.
In the meantime, Tiger fans should be very excited for the future. Although they experienced a very difficult one-point loss in the first round of the tournament to the NC State Wolfpack, LSU took a step in the right direction this past season. With the addition of some of the best high school players in the country, the talent in Baton Rouge will certainly be there.
*Section Photo credit to Stacy Revere, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Marvin Gentry, USA Today Sports.