USC basketball coach Frank Martin Tuesday held his season ending press conference in the same building that a few days ago was the scene for one of the biggest basketball events in Columbia history. Martin admitted to not watching a single second of the NCAA regional. His hope, of course, is to have his team back in the tournament next season. Despite losing one of the programs all time-greats in Chris Silva, Martin expressed optimism about next season because of the returning cast and the incoming class.
Martin said he’s in the process of having exit meetings with his players and thus far none has indicated plans to transfer. That means Martin has all 13 of his scholarships for next season accounted for, but he said he and his staff continue to recruit just in case. As for the injured, Martin said Justin Minaya has been cleared and TJ Moss and Jason Cudd are close to being cleared by doctors to resume training.
Martin also said AJ Lawson also is fine. He said Lawson actually suffered another ankle sprain the Wednesday before their SEC Tournament game and that limited his ability to play in that loss to Auburn. He said Lawson might be his only player to check out the NBA’s interest, just as Silva did last summer before taking his name out of the NBA Draft.
Martin’s press conference lasted more than an hour. Here are some top excerpts from that session.
Martin takes a look at his team for next season
Martin said he doesn’t over-recruit related to what his roster looks like
Martin on not being selected by the NIT
Martin on the need for greater interest in his program
Martin on state of his program after missing postseason two straight years
Martin on incoming point guard Trae Hannibal of Hartsville