Titans' Nick Martinelli fielding flurry of offers after decommitting from Elon
Glenbrook South all-state boys basketball player Nick Martinelli has reopened his college recruitment.
Set to attend Elon University after verbally committing to the Division I program last July 4 and signing his Letter of Intent on Nov. 10, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound wing forward decommited due to changes in the program's staff.
"I'm reopening my recruitment because the head coach (Mike Schrage) and one assistant coach (Andrew Dakich) have left Elon," Martinelli said.
He decommited a day after three-year Elon coach Schrage announced his resignation April 5 to take a position at Duke. Dakich on March 30 left the Phoenix for an assistant position at Illinois State.
Schrage recruited Martinelli to Elon along with assistant Jonathan Holmes, now a candidate for Elon's head coaching position. Martinelli maintains interest in the North Carolina program.
Upon announcing he had decommitted, scholarship offers again flocked to Martinelli, who averaged 22.8 points and 6.7 rebounds this season and finished his prep career as the Titans' third all-time scorer. He helped Glenbrook South to a 33-3 record and its first supersectional appearance.
That scoring list is headed by his brother, Dominic, a 2020 graduate now playing guard at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Nick Martinelli is "definitely looking at that" possibility, he said.
Meanwhile, rushing in with new offers for the two-time first-team Illinois Basketball Coaches Association all-state pick were Belmont, California-Santa Barbara, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Miami (Ohio), New Orleans, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Toledo, Valparaiso and Western Illinois. Many were repeat suitors from the 12 offers he held when committing to Elon.
Schrage phoned Martinelli with the news of his departure.
"Honestly, it went as well as it could of," Martinelli said. "I respect Coach Schrage a ton. Obviously, I was super-disappointed."
Schrage left Elon for a job at Duke as special assistant to Northbrook's own Jon Scheyer, the Blue Devils' new head coach in the wake of Mike Krzyzewski's retirement following Duke's NCAA semifinal loss on April 2.
Schrage had spent nine seasons at Duke as an academic and recruiting coordinator and also director of basketball operations for Krzyzewski. Schrage's tenure there overlapped Scheyer's as both a player and an assistant coach.
Martinelli said there was discussion with Schrage and Scheyer ("who I know very well," Martinelli said) about attending Duke, but the coaches sought greater playing opportunities for him.
"It felt unfair to me to come to Duke and for me not to play my first or second or even my third year," Martinelli said. "I respect it a ton. It means a ton that they both care about me and about my future."
Currently conditioning with trainer Christian Sotos on strength and balance, and working to improve his passing and shooting off the dribble, Martinelli has set no deadline on committing to another basketball program.
"When I find the right place in my heart and I feel I can find a school that would be my home for the next couple of years, I'm just going to pull the trigger," he said.
"I'm just very grateful to have the opportunity to play college basketball, and I have no hard feelings toward Elon or anyone on their staff. I'm just grateful schools came out of the gate and had interest in me and believed in me."