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Curtis HS Coach: Rams Got A Good One!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Rich Buckheit isn’t surprised by the fact that Dan Hurley and his staff at URI were able to land his star player Hassan Martin. He’s also certain that the Rams have themselves a good one.

Buckheit is the head basketball coach at Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York and he’s excited about the upcoming season for his team. One of the reasons for his enthusiasm is the presence of 6’-7” senior forward Hassan Martin.

As you may have read here over the weekend, Martin announced that he was committing to the University of Rhode Island and head coach Dan Hurley. He made his announcement after visiting the URI campus over the weekend with his family.

Martin initially said that he didn’t want to sign with any school immediately but that didn’t stop Hurley and his staff from staying on him. “The Rhode Island guys went all out to get him,” said Buckheit. “They really showed how determined they are for success. They know what they want and they go out and get it.”

Despite a torn tendon in his finger which forced him to miss most of last season, Martin had a lot of schools interested in him. “Iowa State, Providence, St. Joe’s, UMass and Duquesne were all in on him,” Buckheit said. “I was even contacted by Indiana and Oregon State. All of the NEC schools bowed out of the recruiting once they saw the caliber of programs that were after him.”

Despite playing in just seven games, Martin averaged around 14 points and 14 rebounds per game as a junior. “He’s more of a post guy in high school because there aren’t a lot of guys his size at this level, but he’ll probably be a 3 in college,” said Buckheit. “He’s a dynamic athlete, he’s fast to the rim and plays above the rim. He has good touch from 10-12 feet and from three.”

Buckheit said that schools like Providence College from the power conferences were sleeping on him because most of them are looking for the McDonald’s All-Americans. “I talked a couple of times to coach Cooley but, because Hassas isn’t a top 25 guy, they probably didn’t put in the effort that they would for an All-American,” he said. “I think a lot of those Big East and Big Ten schools wanted to see him play as a senior before making a serious run at him. The thing is, I think Rhode Island got themselves a real good player. Right now he may be a top 125 player, but Danny and Bobby saw a potential top 25 guy. He’s only 16. I think by January, he’ll be a Big East or a Big Ten player and a lot of big-time programs will probably wish they had recruited him.”

URI basketball had a stellar weekend on the recruiting trail snagging verbal commitments from both Martin and Michigan star E.C. Mathews. “I think the reason Hassan committed to URI was because he sees what direction Hurley is taking the program in and he wants to be a part of building it up,” said Buckheit. “He and his family also loved the campus and the Ryan Center when they were up there.”

Having seen him first hand while Hurley was in Staten Island at Wagner, Buckheit also said that he is not surprised by the job Hurley and his staff is doing thus far on the recruiting trail. “It’s absolutely no surprise,” he said. “Given his roots here, he is well-known throughout the tri-state area and that’s going to give him a leg up on a lot of other programs when it comes to getting guys from the New York and New Jersey area.”


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