LAWRENCE, Kan. — Being named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year before you ever bounce a Big 12 basketball is hard to believe, and Remy Martin isn't buying into it.
"It's something that doesn't really matter," said the KU Super-Senior and, yes, Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season.
It's not like Remy came out of nowhere. He played four seasons at Arizona State and even led the entire Pac-12 in scoring last season.
He just knows how the game is played.
"I've been in college for a minute now," said Martin at KU's annual Men's Basketball Media Day. "And I've been Preseason All-American. I've been this and that, and I've ended the season with nothing. I've also been nothing and ended the season First Team Pac-12."
His new head coach, Bill Self, who's entering his 19th season with the Jayhawks, also knows how the game is played.
"What I buy into is that in our league (the Big 12), he would be the leading returning scorer (19.1 ppg last season at Arizona State) in our league," said Self. "But it's really not fair because he didn't come from the same league."
All that being said, Self recruited Martin to play at Kansas for his final season, because Self has seen Martin play up-close and personal.
As a freshman, Martin and his Sun Devils stepped into Allen Fieldhouse and beat the #2-ranked Jayhawks. Martin had 21 points in that game.
As a sophomore, #1 KU held Martin in check until the final moments when he hit a jumper to put Arizona State up for good in another upset.
"He beat us twice," said Self. "I saw him when he was really terrific and he beat us. And I saw him when he wasn't and he still found a way."
Those games left an impression on Martin, too.
"Being here, for me, it's the best program ever," said Martin.
He'll be a major part of it if the preseason predictions come anywhere close to being true.
"I just hope he's able to play to what people think about him," said Self. "Because if he does that, we'll be a pretty dangerous team."
KU hosts an exhibition game Wednesday night against Emporia State before opening the season in New York for the Champions Classic against Michigan State.