RiceOwls.com sat down with this year's Men's Basketball Freshman class for a Q&A. The final installment features forward Robert Martin.
How did the recruiting process go for you?
“I started playing basketball around seventh grade just for fun. Then I moved to Massachusetts to live with my dad. I got my first (recruiting) letter my freshman year. That’s when I thought that basketball could maybe get me an education one day. Towards the end of my junior year, that’s when recruiting started to pick up. My senior year I had a really good year. I was hearing from a lot of schools, but Coach (Mike) Rhoades and his staff reeled me in.”
What was it about Rice that stood out to you?
“Probably the sense of community. I know a lot of places you’re there for business only. But, here, it felt more than just a business.”
You’ve been able to practice with the team for a bit. What has been the biggest difference in the college game from high school for you?
“The pace. When you think you’re going hard, you can always go harder. You end up getting to an extra level that you didn’t know you had.”
How have you been able to adjust to the college in general?
“The biggest adjustment is that it’s business first. If you want to go and hang out with your friends, you always have to keep in mind that you have a lot of schoolwork or even a lift the next day. There’s always something that you have to do.”
What basketball player do you try to model your game after?
“I would say Ron Artest or Scottie Pippen. Neither of them have the complete spotlight but they are very valuable members of the team. They do all the intangibles and the dirty work. That’s what I pride myself on. Doing all the little things to help my team get a win.”
You are one of seven freshmen on the team. Is it easier going through the transition knowing there are six other guys going through the same thing?
“100%. For example, we did Navy SEAL week. You think you can’t do it anymore, but you look over and see the other six freshman and you think that if they can do it (then) I can do it. It helps because you’re all going through the same thing.”
Has there been a returning player that has helped you out?
“More so collectively. Marcus Evans in practice. Sometimes I can become real passive. He’s always there to tell me to be more aggressive; don’t ever relax on the court.”
What are your goals for the season?
“In terms of the team, obviously it would be great to make it to the conference championship and hopefully win it. And play in the NCAA Tournament. That’s probably every college basketball players dream.”
When you’re not on the court or dealing with academics, what do you like to do in your off-time?
“I love socializing. I love talking to people; whether it is another student-athlete or someone that was in my O-Week group. I like to maintain my connections with people.”
What are you listening to before a game?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite food?