South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin met with reporters for more than an hour on Thursday in his first public comments since a former assistant was charged in an FBI bribery investigation.
Lamont Evans, who the FBI charged with allegedly receiving $22,000 to influence players to certain business advisors, was on Frank Martin’s staff at South Carolina according to the court documents’ timeline of when Evans started receiving bribes.
Martin said Thursday that the investigation involves Evans alone, and not his program.
He also said that “I don’t know anything you guys don’t know,” in regards to the FBI’s probe into 10 men who were charged in the various scandals.
Martin on Evans’ allegations
Martin did pay tribute to his bosses and his compliance staff for continuing to handle the team and program with integrity. He also volunteered that he chose to stay at South Carolina after being approached about an undisclosed position last Spring.
Martin on staff; integrity
The Gamecocks Head Coach, who is entering his sixth year at the helm at South Carolina, did offer his thoughts on the current state of the game. Martin has shared his passionate thoughts about the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule in the past, and Thursday was no different.
Martin: “One-and-done Rule stinks”
Martin said despite the actions of a few, he’s happy with where the game is right now.
Martin: “Our business is not broken”.
Transitioning to the current team, Martin’s immediate task is replacing the high-volume scoring of Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier, who have departed from the NBA. While Martin recognizes the youth movement on his roster, last year’s Final Four run permeates a lingering enthusiasm.
Martin: Last year’s success breeds enthusiasm
With Thornwell and Dozier gone, the guard play becomes the biggest topic of concern on the Gamecocks going into this upcoming season. South Carolina does have the experience of two graduate transfers in Frank Booker and Wesley Myers who bring experience elsewhere into the fold. One returning player who Martin wants to see step up is Hassani Gravett, and calls his progress a key for where the Gamecocks can go this year.
Martin on guard play
As for the big men for South Carolina, Martin feels a renewed sense of confidence with Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar anchoring things inside, but his real encouragement has come from the depth he’s been able to build from guys he can now count on from last year’s reserve roster.
Martin on big men
Martin declined to comment on the status of Rakym Felder, whom Martin suspended for an assault and battery charge that took place over the summer. Even though the charges were dropped, Felder did not enroll at South Carolina for the Fall Semester and returned to his home in New York. Martin said Felder is “not on our roster” and won’t comment on him while he isn’t.
The Gamecocks open the season in the new Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium at Wofford on November 10th.