Our latest information on #Gamecocks coach Frank Martin

Frank Martin was never one to hide his emotions of the moment during a game (Chris Gillespie)

A decision on the coaching future of Frank Martin with the USC men’s basketball program will be rendered early next week sources told SportsTalkSC.com on Saturday. Martin will meet with Gamecock athletics director Ray Tanner perhaps as early as Monday. According to sources, Martin will be presented with multiple options from the University, none of which includes remaining as the head coach.

Martin has two years remaining on his contract and his buyout would cost USC over six million dollars unless it is negotiated down.

Martin just completed his ninth season as head coach of the Gamecocks, and it was the poorest of his time in Columbia. The Gamecocks were defeated in the SEC Tournament Thursday night to end their season with a 6-15 mark, 4-13 in SEC competition. That’s the lowest overall win total since the 1998-99 team went 8-21.

Martin is 153-134 overall at USC (53%) and 74-91 (45%) in conference games. He led the Gamecocks to a school record 26 wins and to the Final Four in 2016-17 in his one NCAA Tournament appearance with the program. The Gamecocks made the NIT the previous season. The Gamecocks had a streak of six consecutive non-losing seasons end this year, one of the most successful runs in the program’s history.

The Gamecock season was fraught with Covid related issues, injuries and underachieving performances. Three times there were interruptions due to Covid cases and/or contact tracing. Martin himself suffered thru Covid twice. Only two players, AJ Lawson and Wildens Leveque, were able to play in all 21 games. Starting center Alonzo Frink played in just 3 games.

Performance-wise, Keyshawn Bryant was the only regular to significantly increase his scoring average over his career average. Bryant averaged 14.4 points per game this season, 4 points more than his career number. Lawson averaged a career high 16.6 points per game, but shot a career low 39%.

Shooting was a big problem all season for the Gamecocks. Among SEC teams, they were 12th in field goal percentage, 12th in 3-point field goal percentage and 13th in free throw percentage.

Most disappointing for Martin, however, was the defensive performance of his team. Martin has built his reputation on unrelenting, physical defense, but this year’s team had little of that. They were last in the SEC in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal defense.

The search for a new coach will commence immediately, and sources say one prominent name early on will be former Gamecock guard Mike Boynton, who is the head coach at 12th ranked Oklahoma State.

12 thoughts on “Our latest information on #Gamecocks coach Frank Martin”

  1. coach melvin watson of state champion South pointe HS would be an excellent replacement for martin in my view.

  2. Finally – someone in the BofT saw that this guy Martin can’t coach OR recruit – I am hopeful that Ray Tanner gets the credit for ending this sad saga in Carolina basketball – should have been done 5 years ago.

    1. Really? Really? If we had fired him five years ago, we wouldn’t have the Final Four. Someone needs to go full Kip Bouknight on you.

      1. Final Four was earlier – what did it do for the team and recruiting anyway? Nothing. That’s the problem – Martin has been using that one AND ONLY NCAA appearance as Get Out of Jail card since then – no SEC championships, no SEC Tournament Championships, and not another NCAA dance – time for a change.

      2. It was in 2017. This is 2021. That is four years ago. It’s called math. I’d post anonymously too if that was over my head.

  3. I hope the best for Frank and his family, I like Frank as well, but he’s had 9 years, his teams are not winning half of their conference per the average we see, this is most telling, we need to find a good young coach, look who fits this program and can build a program young talented kids would like to come to and play, recruiting, recruiting and more recruiting….Go Gamecocks…

  4. I was an avid supporter of FM up until the past 3 seasons. If a Final Four appearance wasn’t going to help jumpstart his recruiting prowess, nothing would….and nothing did. His lock and focus on Social Justice and Building Character in young players, especially projects, has kept him distracted here throughout his career. High player attrition and continuity was completely missing early on, finally improving somewhat in his final 3-4 seasons. It all came to bear in 2020/2021 season when Covid-19 hit what was supposed to be his best team yet. Covid-19 or no Covid-19, this years team lacked Leadership, Focus, Guard Play, Cohesion and most importantly Effort.

    I wish him well and now it’s time to find our next Basketball coach. Hopefully Tanner will land a much younger coach, who’s willing to aggressively recruit more than 2 and 3 Star players. The next coach needs to come in and run a much more smooth and focused program, one that doesn’t see such a high level of player attrition. It wouldn’t be too much to ask to have a team that can make Free Throws better than 60% as a team and have more than 1 player who can reliably make the 3 either, matched with a solid defense. And last but not least, hopefully we’ll once again have an offense that’s fun to watch.

  5. Dear Phil: Are you concerned that your sources might wrong and that your integrity will be diminished? I don’t want that to happen to you.

  6. If Frank McGuire had to fight Covid-19 TWICE and had his schedule messed with TWICE, could it be he might have had a tough year?

  7. Phil, as long as we are putting coaches out to pasture for poor performance, can we add a former baseball coach to that list. If you are not giving FM credit for his Final Four appearance, then you can’t give RT credit for those CWS victories over five years ago either. His performance as AD has been less than spectacular (see Muschamp hire, awful contract buy-out, etc.)

  8. Once again we get the lame fan’s who couldn’t make a basket if they were alone on the court, coach Martin has done more than any of the previous coaches ( and in case you need to be told we are USC not UNC,KENTUCKY or DUKE) with the best effort was put in by Dave Odom. NIT banners ok but I will take a Final 4 banner any day, and how many of the former players even came back to the campus let alone come CLA for a game. So get a life and stay on the ship if you’re truly Gamecock fans and let the Covid year be buried like some other things should be.

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