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Final Four star Martin going from FAU to Florida

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Florida Atlantic transfer Alijah Martin has committed to play at Florida next season, he told ESPN on Sunday.

“I wanted to stay in the South to play in the SEC, the strongest conference in America,” Martin said. “I wanted a chance to be a primary ball handler and compete for a national title, at a program known for NBA talent and developing players for the next level.”

Martin, a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility, said he committed to coach Todd Golden and the Gators over Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and USC.

Martin was a catalyst of FAU’s Final Four run in 2023, being named to the all-tournament team after several electric performances, including a 26-point, 7-rebound outburst in a narrow loss to San Diego State in the Final Four.

He was an all-conference selection in each of the past three seasons and averaged 13.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game in 2023-24, helping Florida Atlantic return to the NCAA tournament. Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May departed for Michigan following a first-round NCAA tournament loss to Northwestern, causing a mass exodus from the roster.

Martin is a career 37% 3-point shooter and a tenacious defender who has authored many highlight-reel-caliber dunks the past few years with his impressive explosiveness.

He will be expected to play a key backcourt role for Florida alongside All-SEC guard Walter Clayton next season, as starting point guard Zyon Pullin exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

“I’ve paid attention to what Coach Golden and his staff have done for other guards who have transferred to their system, and I love the idea of playing with the type of players they have,” Martin said. “Florida plays at a fast pace just like the NBA. It was obvious that they can help me reach my NBA dreams better than any program. I’m pumped to be a part of Gator Nation. Everyone I know from Mississippi to Boca Raton knows what I’m talking about.”

This is the third transfer player Florida has added this offseason, along with frontcourt players Rueben Chinyelu from Washington State and Sam Alexis from Chattanooga.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.

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