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UConn's Martin receives waiver from NCAA and can play this season

Transfer Tyrese Martin received a waiver from the NCAA, making him eligible to play this season for the UConn men's basketball team.

The school announced the news on Wednesday.

A 6-foot-6, 215-pound junior guard, Martin is expected to be a key member of the rotation. The Huskies received a commitment from Martin in early April.

Martin spent the last two seasons at Rhode Island, averaging 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in a starting role as a sophomore. He shot 43.3 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from 3-point range.

"He has the type of athletic talent and mindset that we value deeply in our program," said coach Dan Hurley in April. "He will fit very well into our style of basketball and our culture."

Hurley recruited Martin, who's from Allentown, Pa., to play for Rhode Island before taking the UConn job.

Their relationship played a significant factor in Martin choosing to transfer to UConn. Martin also considered Oregon, Georgia, Mississippi and Seton Hall.

"I like the way (Hurley) went about things at Rhode Island," Martin said in April. "I saw what he was doing at UConn when he got there. Since he got there, he changed the program a little bit. I like the intensity that he brings every day to games and practices. He just pushed his players to be the best they can be."

Normally, Division I transfers sit out a season before becoming eligible. But the NCAA has approved more waivers than usual in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martin, who has two years of eligibility remaining, joins a backcourt that includes returning starters Jalen Gaffney and James Bouknight, Brendan Adams, freshman Andre Jackson and Howard transfer R.J. Cole, who's eligible to play this season.

"I think I fit in good, honestly," Martin said after committing to UConn. "I'm a two-way player. I can defend multiple guard positions. I'm a big rebounder on both ends. I can step in and make shots and make plays for my teammates."

g.keefe@theday.com

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