Josh Martin on Gophers six-man recruiting class: “We’re going to be able to become a family early”

by Jace Frederick

Josh Martin was the first member of Gophers head coach Richard Pitino's 2014 recruiting class.

But he was far from the last. Since Martin's commitment back in September, Minnesota has added five more recruits. Martin will be joined by fellow newcomers Nate Mason, Bakary Konate, Gaston Diedhiou, junior college guard Carlos Morris and Illinois State transfer Zach Lofton.

It's a rarity to have six players in one recruiting class, but Martin said he prefers it.

"It's gratifying to know that people want to come to a place like Minnesota and it's cool to know that this is going to be a big class for us to grow for awhile," Martin said. "We're going to be able to become a family early and be with each other for a couple of years."

Martin said he personally hasn't heard from any of the springs recruits — Konate, Diedhiou and Lofton — yet. He said assistant coach Dan McHale called him a few days ago to tell him a little bit about them.

"He was just saying 'there's a couple running mates for us,'" Martin said. "[McHale said] they're big, strong, like to block shots, play really hard and are great young men as well as basketball players, which was a good thing to hear."

Martin figures to be one of the players battling for minutes at the power forward spot next season. One of the main players Martin will be competing with is the incumbent starter Joey King. King was the player Martin really connected with when he visited campus in the fall. Martin said whoever wants the minutes will get them, but he's hoping the two can work together more than anything.

"We're on the same team," he said. "We're really just trying to win the game, but it'll be fun, for sure."

Martin hopes the incoming recruiting class can help the Gophers build on the momentum Minnesota established by winning this year's National Invitational Tournament championship.

"They showed that they were a force to be reckoned with against Florida State and SMU," Martin said. "It was cool to see them end on a 'W', because not a lot of teams get to do that, so it was cool to see them end with a championship."

Martin said he arrives on campus on June 13th. He said he will be taking summer courses, though isn't yet sure about how many credits he'll be taking.

"Not at all [the summer break I'm used to]," he joked, "but it doesn't bother me. Just as long as I can walk to the gym, that's all right with me."

On the court, Martin wants to establish his work ethic — starting on day one.

"I want everybody to know that the thing you're going to get from me every single night is 100 percent," he said. "You're going to get all that I can give. I want people to know that from the start. I'm going to get there on June 13th and I'm going to see if I can work out that same day."