Previewing the 2015-16 Rhode Island Basketball Roster – Hassan Martin

Nov 22, 2014; Kingston, RI, USA; Rhode Island Rams forward Hassan Martin (12) reaches for a rebound against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the first half at Thomas M. Ryan Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Like many other publications, Sports Illustrated has been releasing a litany of lists, rankings, and predictions. But unlike the others, SI uses a patented “Basketball Projection System”, rather than a survey of staff writers. That’s not to say that fact-based projections are more accurate than opinion-based, but it certainly provides a different perspective.

Why do we mention this? Well earlier today, SI released their projections for the Top 10 Defenses in the Nation in 2015-16. And the Rhode Island Rams check in at number four. It’s no secret that Rhody can D up… but fourth best in the country? Hell yeah. Let’s take a look at the anchor of that URI defense: junior forward Hassan Martin.

Position: Forward
Class: Junior
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 230 lbs
Hometown: Shaolin Staten Island, NY
Twitter: @HassTheGreat

There’s probably not much that we can type here about Martin that you don’t already know. But it’s worth reminding fans just how good he is. Hassan’s numbers last season were impressive: 11.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game, the latter of which ranked fifth in the nation. Add in a 60 percent shooting clip from the field and Martin’s efficiency was among the best in the Atlantic 10.

But if you’re not into stats, it’s still easy to see why Martin is a game-changer. He’s a force in the middle of the URI defense, and his blocked shot numbers don’t even begin to tell the tale of the shots he alters. Hassan is also reportedly a quiet leader of this team on and off the court as he’s matured into his role in his 2+ years in Kingston.

2015-16 should be a special one for Hassan Martin.