2018 Draft Workouts: Kelan Martin

June 19, 2018 - Butler forward Kelan Martin speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss about his pre-draft workout with the Pacers and his prolific college career.

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2018 Draft Workouts: Kelan Martin

June 19, 2018 - Butler forward Kelan Martin speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss about his pre-draft workout with the Pacers and his prolific college career.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:36

2018 Draft Workouts: Elie Okobo

June 19, 2018 - French point guard Elie Okobo talked to Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss about his positional versatility and what skills he feels will translate best from Europe to the NBA.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:54

2018 Draft Workouts: Rawle Alkins

June 19, 2018 - After his pre-draft workout with the Pacers, Arizona guard Rawle Alkins discussed his versatility and comparisons to Lance Stephenson with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:57

2018 Draft Workouts: Theo Pinson

June 19, 2018 - After his workout with the Pacers, North Carolina's Theo Pinson discussed it with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:40

2018 Draft Workouts: Arnoldas Kulboka

Lithuanian forward Arnoldas Kulboka talked about the strengths of his game and what he's aiming to improve on as Thursday's draft approaches.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:54

2018 Draft Workouts: Marcus Derrickson

June 19, 2018 - After his workout with the team, Georgetown's Marcus Derrickson discussed his breakout junior season with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss.
Jun 19, 2018  |  01:48

Martin Making Most of Pre-Draft Opportunities

Former Butler Star Auditions for the Pacers Two Days Before the 2018 NBA Draft
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor

You won't find many players in this year's draft class who accomplished more in college than Butler's Kelan Martin.

Martin scored 2,047 points for the Bulldogs, the second most in school history.

He led Butler to four straight NCAA Tournaments, where they won at least one game every season, the first time that's ever happened in the history of the program.

He was a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection as a senior and a two-time finalist for the Julius Erving Award (presented annually to the best small forward in the nation).

Yet Martin's name is virtually invisible when it comes to draft discussion. He doesn't appear at all in most mock drafts. He wasn't invited to the NBA Draft Combine last month in Chicago. ESPN.com doesn't even include him in their ranking of the top 100 prospects in this year's draft class.

But that doesn't get to the 6-7, 220-pound forward.

"Every workout I go into, I play with a chip on my shoulder and I show teams that I can compete," Martin said Tuesday after a pre-draft workout for the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center. "When I leave the workout, I open a lot of eyes."

Martin showed steady improvement in his four years at Butler. After averaging 7.1 points in under 15 minutes per game as a freshman, he bumped his scoring average up to 15.7 points per game as a sophomore. By his senior season, Martin shouldered as heavy a load as any player in the nation.

Martin averaged 35.7 minutes per game in his final season on campus, leading the Bulldogs in both scoring (21.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.0 per contest). He was a high-volume shooter, attempting more than 16 shots and seven 3-pointers a night, yet still posted good shooting percentages (.447 from the field, .364 from 3-point range, and .844 from the free throw line).

Martin saved some of his best performances for when he was on the biggest stage.

When Butler upset top-ranked Villanova at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Dec. 30, Martin knocked down all four of his 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 24 points and eight rebounds.

In narrow losses to fifth-ranked Xavier and at Villanova in early February, he scored 34 and 30 points, respectively, while making a combined 14-for-24 from beyond the arc.

And then in the NCAA Tournament, Martin had 27 points and nine rebounds in a first-round victory over Arkansas, then followed that up with 29 points in a narrow loss to Purdue.

Martin said Tuesday that he is confident that his scoring touch can carry over to the next level, but knows he has to show he can help an NBA team in other ways.

"I just have to know that everybody in the NBA can score, so I've got to find a role that can help a team and I think I can find a role," he said.

When asked what that role might be, Martin quickly responded.

"Being a 3-point shooter and a defender, a '3-and-D' guy," Martin said. "Rebounding, doing a lot of gritty stuff."

For Martin, Tuesday's workout had a definite hometown feel. Not only did he star at Butler, but he grew up just a couple hours south of Indianapolis in Louisville. Additionally, he has been training in Zionsville with Joey Burton, working out with a group of prospects that includes Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate, who worked out for the Pacers last week.

"It's a blessing," Martin said about getting to audition for the Pacers. "It's an opportunity that a lot of people don't get. I think I seized it and showed them what I can do and that I'm competitive."

He made a positive impression, according to Ryan Carr, Pacers Director of Player Personnel.

"Kelan had a good workout," Carr said. "He played hard, he hit some shots."

Carr said that even if Martin doesn't hear his name called on draft night, he should have offers from a number of NBA teams to play for them in Summer League action next month in Las Vegas. A positive showing there could open the door for a training camp invite or a two-way contract to continue his development in the NBA's G League.

"He's a kid that got better and better in his time at Butler," Carr said. "We've watched him close. We follow that program really closely. It's cool for a kid like him to come (work out for the Pacers)."


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