UC Riverside’s Dikymbe Martin picks up where he left off
By Brian Robin
You couldn’t help but feel that Dikymbe Martin was trying to score 10 points every time he touched the basketball last Saturday night. And the moment that UC Riverside interim basketball coach Justin Bell summoned Martin to face UC Irvine at the Student Recreation Center, you couldn’t help but picture the image of a thoroughbred horse that was finally let out of his pen and turned loose on a race track.
They don’t have the 10-point play in college basketball. But this thoroughbred had waited for this moment for the last month.
“It felt amazing (to be back out there),” said Martin, who was returning to action after missing six games due to an unspecified violation of team rules. “The coaching staff kept me ready and my teammates hyping me up making sure I was ready to come back. It was a fun experience, but at the end, we didn’t get the W, and that’s what I was hoping for.”
As returns go, the gauzy music and Hollywood endings will have to wait for another time and place. Martin entered the game with 12:40 left in the first half and the Highlanders holding their one and only lead of the game at 13-11. They eventually lost to UCI, 62-52.
Martin, who found out a week before he would return last Saturday, denied after the game saying he tried too hard, blaming a slow start and two quick turnovers to adjusting to a pace that the sophomore guard from North High said he had to acclimate himself to game pace.
And the numbers: 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, aren’t Martinesque numbers. But he did hit his one and only 3-point attempt, the capper to a seven-point-in-51-second outburst that showed UCR and its fans what it missed – and what Martin […]