Life is all about making adjustments. That can also be the case in college basketball, where a talented point guard from New Orleans became one of Georgetown's best small forwards of the 1970's.
The recruitment of Steve Martin, an all-state guard from New Orleans, was another step in John Thompson's ability to recruit nationally. Martin appeared in 14 games his freshman season, with a 6-6, 18 point effort against Southern Connecticut a season high. But with Derrick Jackson and Mike Riley in the back court for two more seasons, and the arrival of John Duren in the summer of 1976, it appeared that Martin's impact at guard would be limited. Instead, by moving Martin to small forward, Coach Thompson ensured his contributions to the Hoyas would continue to grow and develop.
Though small by forward standards (6-4), Martin's ball handling abilities and shooting touch paid dividends for the 1976-77 Hoyas. He scored 15 off the bench in a game with Purdue, followed up with 17 against Penn and an eight point, six steal effort off the bench against Holy Cross. His 20 points versus Seton Hall was a season high.
By junior year, Martin earned a starting job and made the most of it. He scored 22 points in the upset of #17 ranked Detroit, 18 in the ECAC Holiday Festival versus Alabama, and an 18 point, 10-10 free throw shooting effort in the NIT quarterfinal versus Dayton. For the season, Martin finished fourth in scoring, third in rebounding, and second in assists.
Named team captain in 1978-79, Martin starred alongside three future NBA players in John Duren, Craig Shelton, and Eric Floyd. While each outpaced his scoring totals, Martin's senior leadership was a valuable part of the Hoyas' 24-5 NCAA season. Martin often saved some of his best efforts for the big games of that season--20 versus St. Bonaventure, 20 versus Indiana, 14 (including 10-11 FT's) against Boston College, and 20 versus George Washington. After six straight double figure games at the close of the season, Martin hit a slump in the first round NCAA game with Rutgers, shooting 3 for 10
in the Hoyas' six point loss to Rutgers.
While drafted in the 10th round of the 1979 NBA draft, Martin chose to put his accounting degree into practice. Today, Martin lives in his hometown of New Orleans, but remains close to the game, serving as a senior VP for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets.
Steve Martin not only expanded the national reach of the Hoyas' recruiting, but reestablished the ties between Georgetown and the state of Louisiana that began with the recruitment of Parade All-American Peter Michell in 1963. In the intervening years, names like Perry McDonald, Johnathan Edwards, Jaren Jackson, Dwayne Bryant, Joey Brown, Duane Spencer, Eric Myles, and Darrel Owens each followed in Martin's footsteps from Louisiana to the Hilltop.