This blog makes fun of everyone so I appreciate any coach that gives material for me to work with like Frank Martin. But as a Gamecock fan, I really like the guy and fully believe he is going to be the coach that finally reawakens our hoops program. Now if you are the type of Gamecock fan that only sees the negative and you refuse to look for good signs then you should just stop reading right now. We get it: you’re never happy and you love speaking loudly about how you are smart enough to be not happy. Good for you and now please move along.
For the rest of us, we like what we see with Coach Martin. The guy is brutally honest about where we are and makes it crystal-clear that he is working his tail off to change that. Yes, if you’re going to have a bad basketball season, tell us that up front and show us that you’re going to fix it. Frank Martin does that.
Take the loss to Georgia yesterday afternoon. First of all, can Georgia win anything without the SEC’s help? Seriously? First the SEC East in football is gift-wrapped to Athens by “random” scheduling. Then the officials somehow cannot see what every human on earth could during hoops: Carolina should have had 8.9 seconds left to run their last possession. Yes that was it. That simple. No there is no other thing to say about it.
But I digress. Even during the “loss” you could see how Coach Martin is draining every bit of effort from these players. They are starting to get the idea: play hard and be thankful for the chance or get out of Columbia. Yes, we may have some growing pains as a result early on but we’re better off for the long haul. In SEC hoops, you have three paths for success: You can do the dirty recruiting stuff like they do in Florida, you can be Kentucky or you can slowly build a winner over time.
You can see that option 3 is what Martin is going to do and I am glad. I don’t expect “instant national titles” from USC hoops. I just want to see improvement. It’s not going to be easy. Due to the success Steve Spurrier and Ray Tanner had in their respective sports the same is expected from Coach Martin and that’s unfair. Both of those legends were given the time, support and facilities they needed to get there. Through no fault of his own that won’t be the case for Coach Martin.
Here’s hoping he is still our coach in five years. I like him and I like what he’s doing. To quote Shooter from Hoosiers, “I been watching the way you’ve been breaking the colts” Coach and I like what I see.
It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!