WTF, Frank Martin?

The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team posted a 14-18 record in head coach Frank Martin’s first season – including a 4-14 mark in conference play. No worries … Martin inherited a program in free fall, and his 2012-13 campaign was supposed to be a goat show.  This season,…

The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team posted a 14-18 record in head coach Frank Martin’s first season – including a 4-14 mark in conference play.

No worries …

Martin inherited a program in free fall, and his 2012-13 campaign was supposed to be a goat show.  This season, however, the expectations are higher.  Martin scored the No. 25 recruiting class in the nation – led by five-star recruit Sindarius Thornwell of Lancaster, S.C. – and the dismal 4-15 finish to last season was supposed to be a thing of the past.

Also South Carolina was supposed to start putting actual butts in seats at the school’s antiseptic, cavernous Colonial Life Arena – as opposed to imaginary butts.

Martin certainly did his best to light a fire under the Gamecock faithful, calling them out in no uncertain terms at the end of the 2012-13 season.

“It’s a lot deeper than just losing games,” Martin told Fox Sports’ Reid Forgrave last March. “There’s been a complete disconnect between this community and basketball. Just a sense of apathy. And it invades everything — fans, just everything. The sense of apathy is just unbelievable, and that’s the biggest challenge.”

Hmmmm …

Here’s an idea, coach: Win some games and then let’s talk.

Four years ago this website complained bitterly about the ongoing mediocrity of the South Carolina football program under head coach Steve Spurrier (who at the time had produced a disappointing 35-28 overall record and 18-22 mark against conference opponents).  So we issued a simple challenge to Spurrier prior to the 2010 season:  Win f*cking games.

Spurrier’s teams have responded to that challenge (and then some) – posting a 41-11 mark over the past four seasons (including a 32-6 mark over the past three years).  Needless to say, we don’t complain about Steve Spurrier anymore.

Anyway … through the first seven games of the 2013-14 season Martin’s squad appears to be moving in reverse.

After a tough road loss to No. 23 Baylor last month, Martin’s Gamecocks (2-5, 0-0 SEC) were thumped by arch-rival Clemson, manhandled on the road by No. 9 Oklahoma State and (most recently) humiliated at home by USC-Upstate – one of the school’s satellite campuses.

That’s right … a friggin’ satellite campus beat the mothership.

Maybe this shaky start is the result of Martin bringing in so many new (young) players into a program at once.  Maybe his 2013-14 squad will “gel” and put together a nice run during conference play (after all the SEC is as weak as it has ever been in men’s hoops, with only three teams ranked in the Top 25).

Or … maybe his team just isn’t that good.

There’s no doubting Martin’s competitiveness. He put together five straight 20-win seasons at Kansas State prior to coming to South Carolina – including four NCAA tournament appearances (and an Elite Eight appearance in 2010).

By contrast the Gamecocks haven’t won a game in the Big Dance since 1973 – and haven’t even appeared in the tournament in nearly a decade.

Martin was hired to change that – and most believe he will.  But it’s time to start showing some progress.


Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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Princeton Daley December 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Fits…damn son…give him some more time. It’s only year 2…

Tates Locke December 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Time to rid himself of that silly bowtie? Next thing you know Ellington will be wearing women’s panties.

Original Good Old Boy December 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Lol at you “challenging” Spurrier. I think this is your narcissistic way of saying “I was wrong.”

E Norma Scok December 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Lutz..losing to your satellite school.


Tates Locke December 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I never lost to Clemson at Sumter.

Fighting Gamecocks December 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Darrin Horn didn’t just leave the cupboard bare – he took the entire damn cupboard with him. Martin purged the system last year, landed the 25th best recruiting class in the nation, and is taking on a challenging schedule with a bunch of freshmen. Freshmen need time to learn. While I hoped this would be a rebounding season it is going to be more of a learning experience for those guys than anything else. But there is a lot of young talent on that roster and when their experience matches the experience of the teams we are playing, we’re going to be alright. I’m sure glad nobody judged me on my freshman year.

Squishy123 December 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

Dirt pecker sunshine pumper of the week.

Has the basketball team inherited the motto, “Wait ’til next year!”?

Jackie Chiles December 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

Not yet. That’s clemson’s football motto.

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

We just borrowed it from y’all.

Y’all can have it back in ’14.

Jackie Chiles December 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

lol. So said you in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and now.

Squishy123 December 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Must suck winning 11 games and going to a 2nd or 3rd rate bowl game. Dirtpecker U could have gone 6-6 and made the same bowl games.

Jackie Chiles December 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm

When was the last time the Cap One took a 6-6 team?

By the way, it must suck to lose to your rival 5 years in a row and be left with “well we went to a better bowl than you because the Orange Bowl had a contractual obligation to take an ACC team instead of an actual team that was ranked higher” as an insult. I’m really feeling like Clemson is superior with that kind of insult.

Also, on top of the fact that Clemson can’t beat USC anymore, USC is now worth more than Clemson- much more- according to Forbes, and garners more than 500k more viewers per game than Clemson.

Point is, USC has passed Clemson by. Much like UCF is proud of going to a BCS bowl because of its conference tie-in with a bowl game, Clemson fans are forced to accept that their team plays in an inferior conference with inferior television ratings and inferior valued teams- but was lucky enough that its conference forced bowls to take a certain number of teams from their conference. Content yourself with the Orange Bowl performance, Squishy. With the BCS changes, I suspect it will be your last for a while.

Squishy123 December 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

My team hasn’t lost five years in a row, you’re just a typical dirtpecker fan who thinks that anyone who doesn’t support the dirtpeckers is a tater.

Maybe one of these years they’ll be able to rank at the top of their conference… and I’m not talking about half of the conference.

Jackie Chiles December 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

Clemson will never play for an SEC championship. Best you can hope for is playing in the $10 per ticket ACC championship. When your ticket price is the same as the state high school championships, you can deduce what the level of competition is.

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 21, 2013 at 11:11 am
Matt December 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

Ouch, brutal loss……………… is going to be a long season for the few Gamecocks hoops fans

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

So we [FITSNEWS] issued a simple challenge to Spurrier prior to the 2010 season: Win f*cking games.

Spurrier’s teams have responded to that challenge (and then some) – posting a 41-11 mark…

Hubris much?

Also, you have a registered letter from the Credit Where Credit is Not Due Dept.

major major December 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

In related news, I wandered outside early this morning and was dismayed by the darkness, so I issued a simple challenge to the sun: Show your f-ing self within the next 2 hours!

The sun responded to that challenge (and then some), peaking over the eastern horizon soon after 7:00 am.

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

“The sun is not yellow…it’s chicken!
—Bob Dylan

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 20, 2013 at 7:19 am


Expect nothing less than a FINAL FOUR next year.

*Fist Poundzzzz!*

Squishy123 December 20, 2013 at 9:20 am

USC fans don’t give a fuck about basketball, it’s just something to fill in the time between football and baseball. Building the Colonial Life Arena was an expensive mistake, just like the rest of the buildings in the Innovista. Frank Martin will be gone in two years after he realizes that he unfortunately stepped in what is equivalent to dogshit in the college basketball arena.

C. Grant Taylor December 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

We do care about basketball. But the product on the floor hasn’t been anything to get excited about at all for the past 4 years or so.

Squishy123 December 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

The only reason I’d consider going to a game would if I could sit behind the bench and listen to Frankie bitch and scream. I bet over the years he’s come up with some incredible insults for his players.

I'llBeYourHuckleberry December 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

Give the guy a break. It takes more than one season to turn around a program that is considered a laughing stock. Just like with Spurrier, he needs a few years to not only get his OWN recruits in, but to coach them up. I would imagine years 3 and 4 are where you will begin to see some serious improvement.

If you thought he was going to come in here and create a final four team in a season or two, put the crack pipe down!

Tank December 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

I think my biggest issue came in his post-game comments, where he said “I’m all for this. That’s why I put this schedule together.” That’s a fine comment if you get drubbed by Top 10 teams, but after being embarrassed by Upstate? No, sir.

Fastmouth December 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

Martin definitely needs at least 2 more years to get his crowd together. After 2 more years, all bets should be off. He will have had time to recruit decent players. However, he will always have some problems recruiting 1st tier players with Duke, UNC, etc., right under him – especially NC and SC players.

9" December 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Never trust a man wearing a bow tie.

RHood2 December 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

USC Upstate has a pro prospect, Torrey Craig, who played at Great Falls for the best HS hoops coach in state history. Horn didn’t give him the time of day, and Martin gets paid back for it.

GrandTango December 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

From that IDIOT on 560-The Team, Cary Rich to Cory Miler, the F*#kin dolts told us how great Martin was gone be (like they told us Obama would work miracles)…

F*#kin Dumb@$$#$ bashed Horn, who was horrible…but this next guy, who the pop culture loves…ain’t much better…

Squishy123 December 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

“was gone be”??? Since when did you start talking like a blue gum?

GrandTango December 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm

What the H#!! is that???…
PS: Liberals (in reference to a Ronald Regan joke) are always talkin’ ’bout how good it’s gone be (see Obamacare)…yet it NEVER materializes. Lord, Lord…How right Ronnie was…

War Eagle December 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Your university is pathetic, Biggot. Your academic scores continue to lose to Clemson, which is pathetic in its own right, and all you got is a ten win football team (which ain’t buyin’ u much respect with 12 games). And Clemson is above Auburn on the academic food chain.

Get off my continent, you Congragee (sp?) Gamecockl

GrandTango December 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

Auburn is a disgrace to college football. You cheat and you represent the ugliest of athletics.

Vanguard16 December 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

LMAO!! Looks like Dirtpecker basketball won’t have more wins than the football team!!

uh oh December 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm

At one time SCAR was better at basketball. Not so much anymore. But, the fans, well they have stayed the same. Worst in college world. Fair weathered.

Coastal Waters December 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

Good lord your narcissistic ass is now taking credit for the football team? I’m sure once Spurrier saw FITSnews he knew he’d best shape up. You make Mark Sanford and Tom Davis look less narcissistic every day, and that’s a helluva a feat.

It’s also evident you no NOTHING about the game of basketball. Darrin Horn left the cupboard bare, I mean bare. He recruited division 2 players and Eric Hyman was a buffoon for even hiring the guy….Western KY was about to can him. Turning around this program is a 3-4 year process. Do some research of the teams that had been “dormant” and you will see. Hell, the folks at Duke tried to can Coach K early on. Now if by year 4 Frank has them at 14-16, then it’s time to go.

As to USC Upstate. We were there and we were disappointed with the outcome, but what you saw was a seasoned veteran team paying against a very young straight out of high school team. An upstate team that features 2 NBA draft picks and cohesiveness. It was very clear that the young freshman panicked in this game when it got close.

So do some research dumbass.

giantslor January 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Your post doesn’t factor in the much tougher SOS this year. Check out the Massey composite ratings and you will see that Martin’s team has improved from abysmal last year to just bad-to-mediocre this year. With continued good recruiting, I expect a similar jump next year to decent, and an NIT bid. Year after next, they’re going to the big dance.


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