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Maryland lands high-flying Utes guard Ian Martinez from transfer portal

On the same day that Utah announces the signing of Marco Anthony from Utah State, it loses the former four-star recruit to a Big Ten school

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Utah Utes guard Ian Martinez (2) races upcourt as Utah and USC play in the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 11, 2021. USC won 91-85 in double overtime. Martinez announced on April 20, 2021, that he is transferring to Maryland.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Ian Martinez’s oft-predicted rise to college basketball stardom will happen at Maryland, and not the University of Utah.

The former four-star recruit from the class of 2020 posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that his next stop is Maryland, much to the chagrin of Utah fans who were hoping that Martinez would return to the Hill after entering the transfer portal on April 6.

Riley Battin and Lahat Thioune returned after Craig Smith was named Utah’s coach to replace Larry Krystkowiak, but not Martinez. Krystkowiak was fired on March 16.

Martinez, a 6-foot-3 guard with incredible leaping ability, appeared in 25 games for the Utes this past season, and averaged 5.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. He shot 32.4% from 3-point range and 49.5% from the field.

After a slow start, Martinez got a bigger role as the season progressed and scored 18 points, a career high, in a Pac-12 conference tournament loss to USC.

Martinez’s father, Henry, joined Krystkowiak’s staff the year before Ian arrived, but apparently will not be retained by Smith. The new Utah coach has filled two of the three open assistant coaching spots on his staff with USU assistant Eric Peterson and UNLV assistant DeMarlo Slocum.

Ian Martinez is from Heredia, Costa Rica, but played high school basketball in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Last week, Utah star Timmy Allen transferred to Texas. On Monday, another starter, rising junior Mikael Jantunen of Finland, announced he is leaving the program and turning professional to play in Europe.

Tuesday, Utah announced the signing of Utah State transfer Marco Anthony, who will presumably apply for immediate eligibility with the NCAA. Anthony is not eligible for the NCAA’s new one-time transfer rule because he transferred to Utah State from Virginia, then sat out a year.

Previously, Utah has announced the signings of transfers Gabe Madsen of Cincinnati, Rollie Worster of USU and David Jenkins Jr. of UNLV.