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Flying solo: Former UNR star begins NBA journey without twin

Updated July 10, 2019 - 6:38 pm

Former UNR star Cody Martin is feeling comfortable on the court back in Las Vegas even if there is a very familiar face missing.

His twin brother, Caleb, with whom he played at two high schools and two colleges, was listed on a preliminary roster for the Hornets but is not in Las Vegas with the team because of a knee injury.

“It doesn’t really feel much different,” said Cody, a second-round pick of Charlotte. “It kind of allows us to expand our game and show people what else we do. If anything, I wouldn’t say it helps, but it gives us an opportunity to do that.”

The twins swept three games against UNLV at the Thomas & Mack Center over their two seasons at UNR, and Cody is excited to start his pro career at the Vegas Summer League.

“It’s always nice to be here,” said Cody, who had 11 points in a 75-72 loss to Chicago on Wednesday and is averaging 9.5 per game in four contests. “I feel like I see a lot of familiar faces while I’m out here.”

Charlotte’s Summer League coach Ron Nored believes one aspect of Martin’s game has stood out this week.

“Cody is an unbelievable defender,” Nored said. “He’s one of the best on-ball defenders I’ve been around at this level, so I’m looking forward to how that looks in the NBA.”

Martin said he feels his offensive abilities will start to catch up more as he gets more at ease with the Hornets’ system and gains confidence at the next level.

He hopes that will be in Charlotte, less than 90 minutes from where the twins grew up in Mocksville, North Carolina.

Martin is also optimistic about his home of the past three years despite his coach at UNR, Eric Musselman, leaving to take the Arkansas job.

“They’re in good hands,” he said of new UNR coach Steve Alford. “(Musselman) made a business decision, and you can’t fault him for that because he gave everything he could to (UNR) and at the end of the day, some people take different paths and that’s just how it is. We just have to be appreciative of what he did for me, for that community and I know they appreciate that.

“I’m looking forward to how the guys at (UNR) are going to do, and I’m still keeping up with them.”

A good day

Bruce Brown’s mind wandered elsewhere as he shot, passed and jumped his way into the Vegas Summer League record books at Cox Pavilion on Wednesday.

The second-year Detroit Pistons guard became the second player to record a triple-double in event history in a 96-81 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, which made him recall the first time he accomplished the feat in college. His uncle, Edward Dillard, died hours before Brown’s Miami Hurricanes played South Carolina State, and the grieving nephew responded with one of the best performances of his college career.

“It’s always good to have one,” Brown said. “It reminds me of my uncle.”

Brown did it again Wednesday, using all of his 6-foot-5 frame to leap for rebounds and create shots for himself and teammates. He finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists and joined an exclusive club with New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball.

Ball, then with the Los Angeles Lakers, had two triple-doubles during the 2017 Vegas Summer League.

Now Brown just needs to prove his performance Wednesday is a sign of things to come. The 2018 second-round pick scored 4.3 points per game as a rookie, playoffs included, but he’s averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and 8.25 assists per game in his second Vegas Summer League.

”I played in the playoffs so it’s a different atmosphere,” Brown said. “This is really nothing to me.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter. Ben Gotz can be reached at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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