Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Stacker and Martin to have an immediate impact on SEMO basketball

Friday, November 10, 2023
SEMO sophomore guard (44) Braxton Stacker dunks it home in the Redhawks 76-61 victory over Henderson State in a Oct. 23 exhibition. The Redhawks were +19 when Stacker was on the floor for the contest.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

SEMO men’s basketball has some big questions to answer this upcoming season. Namely, who is going to replace the point production of Chris Harris and Phillip Russell? Two transfers come to mind when looking at this roster.

Rob Martin is a graduate of Christian Brothers College High School, and led that team to a Missouri 6A championship and a No. 2 state ranking. His high school accolades are plentiful, being named Missouri 6A player of the year, St. Louis Post Dispatch All-Metro Player of the Year to the 6A All-State team.

The 5-foot 10 inch point guard is bringing his talents to SEMO after playing 12 games and scoring 11 points for the Indiana State Sycamores during the 2022-2023 season.

Both Martin and Russel are 5-10 point guards from St. Louis with impressive high school accolades. They even wear the same number on their jersey.

Head coach Brad Korn compared and contrasted Martin and Russel’s style of play.

“I think Rob has the ability to help the team score, but they’re different in that aspect because Phil’s a little bit more of a scorer,” Korn said, “[Rob] is more of an organizer, a true throwback type point guard. Different kinds of ways but they both can be equally effective.”

Martin said he hopes to continue the recent success of the program.

“I can score if needed but I like to get my guys involved, be a leader on the court, be vocal, and lead by example to be honest. Like a Chris Paul style, get my players involved and just be high intensity and high energy.”

In the era of the transfer portal, SEMO has seen many talented players come and go. One transfer player that has made an impact on basketball at Southeast is Kobe Clark from Georgetown who averaged 8.7 rebounds per game, and led the Redhawks in total rebounds with 165 despite missing nearly half of the 2022-2023 season due to injury.

Another transfer that was pivotal to the Redhawk’s historical 2023 conference championship was Israel Barnes from Weber State University, who converted on a crucial drive to the paint, and hit a clutch corner three in overtime of the conference championship game against Tennessee Tech.

Braxton Stacker is another transfer from the Missouri Valley Conference, coming from Murray State. Stacker was a Mcdonald’s All-American nominee, a two time selection for Missouri’s All-State team, and played for Brad Beal Elite on the EYBL circuit.

Similarly to Martin, Stacker did not see much action at Murray State, playing 34 minutes over 12 games.

Korn said he is impressed with Stacker’s defensive tenacity.

“I think Stack’s biggest thing is defensive ability. Most young guys don’t have that just yet, they develop that as they progress in college.”

Stacker talked about his transfer to SEMO, and his hopes for the upcoming season.

“[I want] to be someone who can make a big impact on both sides of the ball, and hopefully help the team win another OVC championship, and hopefully getting another chance to go to March Madness.”

The OVC’s preseason poll has SEMO finishing fifth in the conference, and Morehead State receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament. Bleacher Report also predicts Morehead State to win the conference, perhaps because OVC player of the year Mark Freeman is returning for his senior season.

It is difficult to gauge how these player’s skills will translate on a new team and in a new conference, however, in their first game against Grand Canyon University, Stacker saw 22 minutes with 8 points and an assist while Martin saw twenty-six minutes with 3 points and 3 assists.

Stacker and Martin will be back in action in an away tilt at 7 pm on Friday, Nov. 10 against Butler University. All of the action will be streamed on ESPN+.