Whether the Minnesota excitement will last through Josh Martin's final official visit, to Pittsburgh this weekend, remains to be seen. For now, though, the Gophers seem to have made a very positive impression on the 6-8 big man from Seattle, who returned from Minneapolis on Sunday.
"It went really well. I enjoyed it," Martin said. "There were a lot of good things I saw. Definitely the atmosphere was a big thing that I was able to recognize off the bat. Everybody showed up for that football game – the whole place was packed and roaring. It was cool to see how people represent their Golden Gophers and come out and support, that was real cool.
"I think just the personalities on the team, and the guys that I’d be playing with, I could see myself spending time with them, not just on the court, but off the court too."
New Gophers player Joey King played host to Martin, who quickly identified with the Minnesota power forward.
"He’s a guy who’s just like me, in terms of his morals and how he carries himself, and I appreciated that," Martin said. "I could see myself being around those guys outside of basketball."
Perhaps what caught Martin off-guard the most was the attention he got outside of the team and the coaching staff -- an instant fan base he didn't expect.
"It was just crazy because we’d be walking around, going to get something to get something to eat, or whatever, and people would shout out my name, they would call out to me like they knew who I was already," Martin said. "I was just so in shock. I knew that some people had talked to me on Twitter, but I didn’t know that it would be those people just walking around on the street. ... It was certainly cool to see how everybody is a fan already and I hadn’t even been there yet."
Martin has already officially visited Florida State -- where he said the thing that most stuck out was how well he could see his game fitting into the Seminole system -- and will travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Previously, Martin had a short list of four, that also included Oklahoma State, but on Monday he said he was now focusing solely on Minnesota, FSU and Pitt.
When Martin returns from Pittsburgh, he expects to take some time to himself, and then make a decision.
"Definitely not that long because I don’t want to have so much going on in my head that I can’t focus on school. ... I need to weigh all the options in terms of basketball. There’s so much that goes into picking a school, and it’s not just basketball. My plan is to take a week after that last visit and not really talk to anyone else except my family and just evaluate each school, from all the aspects and what will be the best fit and hopefully make a decision at the end."