Frank Martin would not thoughts assigning blame for South Carolina’s 6-15 season in 2020-2021, which he known as “probably the most tough 12 months of my life professionally.” He blames himself.
“On the finish of the day, it is self-accountability,” he stated throughout a “Construct Up 2 Basketball” go to on SEC This Morning. “It is the primary time I used to be a part of a nasty 12 months as a head coach. It is the primary time that I actually imagine I did not do my job. That was unbelievable.”
The coach himself was struck with COVID-19 not as soon as however twice, “however it wasn’t simply COVID,” he stated. “I might been battling a extremely unhealthy knee. I might been dwelling in ache for a 12 months and a half earlier than COVID kicked my tail round like no human being’s ever kicked it. Final 12 months, each resolution I made did not work. I simply did not do my job. I want I might inform you one thing otherwise. When you do not do your job, all the things kinda comes aside on the seams. That is what occurred right here.”
What occurred got here on the heels of the perfect six-year run for this system for the reason that Seventies, which included the 2 finest data in class historical past, an SEC participant of the 12 months in Sindarius Thornwell and a visit to the 2017 Last 4.
Martin will attempt to return to these successful methods on the shoulders of 4 gamers who averaged double figures in scoring final season. Two of them, redshirt junior guard Jermaine Couisnard (10.1 ppg) and senior ahead Keyshawn Bryant (14.4 ppg), put up these high quality numbers for the Gamecocks. The opposite two did it at totally different colleges earlier than transferring to South Carolina.
The 6-4 grad switch James Reese averaged 10.9 ppg on a North Texas group that gained the Convention USA Event and upset Purdue within the first spherical of the NCAA Event. The 6-3 Chico Carter, a Columbia, S.C., native, averaged 12.7 ppg at Murray State.
Two extra transfers are anticipated to make an instantaneous impression: 6-7 grad scholar AJ Wilson, who lettered for 4 seasons at George Mason and left as this system’s profession chief in blocked pictures, and 6-4 senior Erik Stevenson from Washington.
Martin stated he had recruited these gamers earlier both out of highschool or the switch portal.
“They’re guys we had already recognized that might match us,” he stated. “If there was a 12 months for this instant eligibility scenario for transfers to work out for us, this was the 12 months. It is given our group an expertise and a persona that we wanted.”
Combine in Martin’s self-accountability, his return to well being and the addition to the roster of his son Brandon, who transferred after three seasons at USC Upstate to play for his father for the primary time, and you have a program that is turned the web page on final season.
“I really feel nearly as good as I’ve felt in a very long time,” Martin stated. Personally, meaning he is returned to the load room. Professionally, it means the remainder of the SEC has been warned.