Preseason Big 12 honor for Kansas Jayhawks’ Remy Martin ‘more for my family’

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Kansas’ Remy Martin didn’t celebrate Wednesday’s news that he’d been voted the 2021-22 Big 12 preseason men’s basketball player of the year.

“I didn’t really care about it to be honest with you. I’ve been a preseason All-American before and ended the season with nothing, so preseason stuff really doesn’t matter too much for me,” Martin, a two-time, first-team all-Pac 12 Conference selection who transferred from Arizona State to Kansas for a final season of college hoops, said Friday in a media teleconference.

“I think those awards are more for a team. I don’t really get those awards if we don’t win, so it’s a collective group, but it didn’t really mean much to me at all,” Martin repeated.

The 6-foot, 175-pound point guard from Burbank, California native noted that “it’s more for my family and everything. That’s nice, but for me I don’t care less about it.”

Martin — he led the Pac-12 in scoring at 19.1 points a game last season — did concede it’s nice to know the Big 12 coaches, who voted for the preseason player award, think highly of him.

“Yes, when I think about it like that. I haven’t really put so much thought into it because I really just didn’t care too much about it but I’m happy that people are honoring my play and my existence playing basketball so that’s pretty cool,” Martin said.

He said KU’s early-season practices have been going well as he learns a new system.

“It’s been pretty easy,” Martin said of the adjustment. “When we all have a common goal and we all know what the goal is, it all kind of figures itself out. I want to win. I want to come here and try to help the team win as much as possible, whatever it is. When everybody has that mindset of just doing what needs to be done to win, it kind of makes life easier for everybody.

“Coach (Bill) Self and his staff have been great,” he added. “They’ve been teaching me a lot. They’ve been coaching me up and it’s just been a fun time. But it’s also been a challenging time in practice. We’re getting after it where we’re having a good time and we’re competing.”

Martin singled out the group as a whole instead of individual teammates who have been impressive.

“We have the pieces to go out there and do pretty special things,” Martin said. “We’ve just got to implement that in the games and make sure we’re all clicking and we’re all doing our assignments. We have a nice looking roster but at the end of the day we still got to get between those lines of play.”

Martin said his personal goals are simple in terms of scoring versus facilitating at the point guard slot.

“I’m just looking to go out there and play and play my game, whatever the defense gives me,” Martin said. “I’m going to say obviously I’ve got more of a job to make other guys better, but, because I have a lot more guys, I just go out there and play and make the right reads and they respect my game and I respect them. So, whatever the right read is I’m going to make, and I just go out there and play.”

Martin said he’s completely recovered from an ankle injury that plagued him earlier this semester.

“I’m all good. I’m all healed up,” he said, thanking the training staff “for helping me with my ankle rehab and everything. I’m 100% I’m good. I thank them for helping me and getting me better.”

He said he’s planning on savoring all experiences during his one season at Kansas, such as the recent Late Night in the Phog.

“It’s a blessing. I’m very thankful to be able to have those experiences. For people to show out and continue the culture is amazing. It’s definitely a experience that I’ll never forget I’m very thankful for it, and I’m happy that my family got to come out and see that and very thankful just to be at KU, realizing that only a select (group of) hand picked guys are able to experience that every year,” Martin said.

“Now I’m just very happy that I’m one of them so it was a great experience. I wish I could have another one but it seems like this is my last one,” Martin added.

The Super Senior experience is going well, he said.

“Never in a million years would I think I would have another year, so it’s different, but at the end of the day everybody was affected by this pandemic, so I’m happy that I even had the chance to play basketball again, especially at this great university,” Martin said. “So it’s been going well. I’m just happy to be able to play basketball at a high level like this.”

So far a healthy Martin has impressed his KU teammates.

“He’s been a great facilitator. He’s playing like a true point guard, just getting everybody shots, playing downhill. Very quick first step. Great passer,” said KU senior forward Cam Martin.

“He kind of reminds me a little bit of Devon (Dotson), the way he can switch speeds, get downhill from different spots on the floor,” stated senior wing Ochai Agbaji. “His quickness I think matches Devon’s.”

Noted senior guard Chris Teahan: “Remy is super, super fast. I don’t know how to describe him. He’s such a unique style of player. He has tons of energy and never runs out of it.”

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