USC basketball coach Frank Martin things he’s put a good team together for this season (Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina

Frank Martin was impressed by the size of the media turnout Wednesday morning at the Colonial Life Arena for his annual summer question and answer session. Martin joked that more media were on hand than for many of his in-season press conferences. Perhaps that’s an indication of the expectations for this season as the Gamecocks week to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their Final Four run in 2017.

Some of the top takeaways from Martin’s 50 minute media session:

  • AJ Lawson got more positive feedback than Chris Silva and PJ Dozier did when they explored going to the draft early.
  • No waiver for eligibility is being sought for Seventh Woods. He said Woods getting out of the spotlight and redshirting will be good for him.
  • Thinks they signed a really good player in Trae Hannibal. And he feels they’re recruiting overall has been pretty good.
  • Thinks the NCAA will be aggressive in following up to the FBI corruption probe. He said he’s at peace with his program related to any NCAA concerns regarding PJ Dozier. Said his heart goes out to Lamont Evans, his former assistant who was found guilty in the probe.
  • Said every coach likes his team in the summer, but he feels they have a lot of talented people, as talented a team as he’s been around.
  • Was caught off guard when Jason Cudd decided to leave (he’s transferring to Olney JC in Illinois), but they knew about Jalyn McCreary, had been scouting him, and quickly brought him in and grad transfer Micaiah Henry.
  • Henry is a natural back to the basket player and knows how to catch and pass out of the post. Martin thinks they’ll be a better rebounding team this season.
  • He is not scheduling a Division Two team this season, and he said nobody is forcing him to not schedule one.
  • Said fans get excited about their football team playing in a bowl game on December 2nd, he would hope they would be equally excited for their team making the NIT if it doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament.
  • Minaya and Moss are both fully healthy and physically stronger than before.

Frank Martin on the upcoming season


Frank Martin on AJ Lawson returning to school


Frank Martin on the NCAA following up on FBI probe