Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin addressed the media, Monday, ahead of South Carolina’s SEC opener against Florida. The Gamecocks (8-5) are coming off an inconsistent stretch with a mix of highs (road wins at Virginia, Clemson) and lows (home losses to Stetson, Boston). But as is the case each January, teams can earn a reprieve with a good start in conference play.
Martin pointed to youth across major college basketball, not just his own team, that has led to the inconsistency in play. “Power 5 basketball has gotten very young. And nobody wants to hear it, but that’s okay. That doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up because people don’t want to hear the truth. When you have five consecutive years of, at least 750 transfers, the majority of players are leaving Power 5 schools …. when you’re young, you’re inconsistent.”
But Martin was also quick to praise his team’s overall effort this season, “They’re good dudes. They haven’t let me down.” Martin continued, “We rarely have a bad practice from a caring standpoint.”
That doesn’t mean he’s let the Gamecocks off the hook for their lackluster performance against the Hatters. As a matter of fact, Martin set aside his habit of addressing players’ poor habits individually, and instead relayed his message in front the whole roster. “When you have one or two guys that are struggling, then you address one or two guys. When you have a whole team that had no interest in playing, there is no individuality …. I was embarrassed and disturbed by how we took the court that day.”
Effort aside, the Gamecocks would be served to find their stroke against the Gators. South Carolina ranks 323rd in 3-point shooting at just 28.6%. Worse yet, the Gamecocks are hitting just 25.6% from behind the arc at Colonial Life Arena. Florida, meanwhile, is coming into the game having won its conference opener over Alabama in double overtime, 104-98.
The Gators and the Gamecocks are scheduled to tip off in Columbia tomorrow at 7 p.m.