Josh Martin will transfer out of the University of Minnesota, effective immediately, the Gophers announced on Monday, two hours before their game vs. North Dakota tipped.

Martin's departure leaves the Gophers with just nine scholarship players for at least the rest of December.

"While we are disappointed in Josh's decision to transfer, we wish him nothing but the best in the future," coach Richard Pitino said in a statement.

An athletic 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward from Seattle, Martin was expected to back up starter Joey King at the power forward spot, but the freshman was leap-frogged was leap-frogged by redshirt sophomore Charles Buggs in the depth chart. The high-flying Martin -- known for his raucous dunks -- had plenty of upside and offensive and rebounding potential, and flashed that in a public scrimmage and exhibition in the preseason. 

As the season started, however, it was clear that the fast-but-lanky Martin is fundamentally raw and not polished enough to help fill gaps at the small forward. In seven games, Martin averaged 5.4 minutes, 1.3 points and one rebound. 

Since the summer, four players have unexpectedly been dropped from the team. First, international freshman big man Gaston Diedhiou was denied by the university's Office of Admissions. After enrolling in an intensive English course this fall, he could be admitted in January. Just before the start of the regular season, transfer guard Zach Lofton was kicked off the team for failing to meet its expectations, as explained by the university. Then, two weeks ago, sophomore Daquein McNeil was arrested on two counts of felony assault. McNeil has been suspended, but remains on the team's roster with a Jan. 5 court date looming.

Martin, a three-star athlete per ESPN, originally chose Minnesota over Florida State and Pittsburgh.   

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