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FAU transfer G Alijah Martin will join Gators basketball

GAINESVILLE — Former FAU guard Alijah Martin will join the Florida Gators as a graduate transfer after helping the Owls become one of the nation’s top mid-major programs.

A source confirmed Martin’s decision, first reported by Jacob Rudner of 247Sports, as UF coach Todd Golden rapidly rebuilds his roster.

Within the past week, the Gators added 6-foot-11 transfer Rueben Chinyelu from Washington State and 6-foot-9, 225-pound Sam Alexis, a native of Apopka, from Chattanooga.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Martin joined the exodus at FAU after coach Dusty May’s departure for the University of Michigan and will enhance a Gators’ backcourt in transition.

Leading scorer Walter Clayton Jr. and starting wing Will Richard will explore his NBA options but each has until June 16 to decide whether to remain eligible for the draft — scheduled for 10 days later.

Golden also must replace Cal Riverside transfer point guard Zyon Pullin, who set a single-season school record with a 3.77 assist-to-turnover ratio, and Riley Kugel, a Dr. Phillips standout who transferred to Kansas after a disappointing sophomore season.

Martin averaged 13.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists while he shot 41.4% from the field and 33.8% from 3-point range in 2023-24. He also is a strong defender and averaged 1.6 steals.

The Summit, Miss., native averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 43.8% overall (37.2% from beyond the arc) during the Owls’ remarkable run to the 2023 Final Four, where San Diego State stunned FAU with a last-second shot to win 72-71.

As a sophomore, Martin shot 40% from 3 and 45.8% overall while averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 boards.

While Clayton’s and Richard’s decisions await, Martin — who started 86 games at FAU — gives Golden a proven and productive presence.

Denzel Aberdeen, a former Dr. Phillips standout, closed his sophomore season strongly. Meanwhile, shooting guard Isaiah Brown of Orlando Christian Prep committed to the Golden’s 2024 class. The 6-foot-5 Brown helped lead his team to a state runner-up finish in 2023-24.

Edgar Thompson can be reached at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com