MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Senior point guard Jeremiah Martin is ready to lead the Memphis Tigers into a big season.
Martin was named to the preseason all-conference first team--the only Tiger on the list.
"I feel great, refreshed," Martin said. "It's a new era. We've got a new coach. We've got new fans coming. It's just great excitement at home, so it's just pushing me to be a better person."
Things haven't been easy for Martin as a Tiger. Hardaway is his third head coach in four years and he's never made it to a postseason tournament.
Last season, Martin was leading the AAC in scoring when he suffered a season-ending foot injury.
"Being from Memphis you've got to be mentally tough," he said. "It's not easy staying home. It may seem easy, because you're around your family, but it's not easy staying home and playing for your hometown team."
Some of that uneasiness had to do with Martin playing close to 35 minutes per game last season.
As one of two returning players last season, the Tigers relied on him heavily.
"I've seen a change in attitude with him, because, first of all, he's healthy. Secondly, he has more help," Hardaway said. "That no knock on anyone from last year, but Alex Lomax, Tyler Harris, Antwann Jones and those guys are really helping the guard spot and making his life easier."
"Now he's more free," senior forward Kyvon Davenport said. "He doesn't have to worry about it as much because we have a better team."