Gamecocks MBB: Two Potential Candidates To Replace Frank Martin As Head Coach

The South Carolina Gamecocks are struggling and yet again underperforming. Let’s look into some coaching candidates for the program. 

Coach Frank Martin may have started his tenure with pretty early success(considering by year three he coached the team to a winning record for the first time in five years) but the team has since struggled since their Final Four bout, with inconsistency running rampant on the court and horrible recruiting efforts. Since the Final Four appearance, fans have grown tired of mediocrity and apathy within the program. 

Gamecock fans are forever grateful for Martin taking the team to the Final Four, but is it not reasonable for the team to make the postseason every four-to-six years. With a division one program within the SEC, the organization has to have higher hopes for the team. Since the March Madness semi-finals, the team has been teetering on being barely above average. With half-decent conference play and never deeper success, it is valid for Gamecock basketball die-hards to expect some more postseason success. This is the fourth season since the Final Four, and I’ll give him a pass on last season’s shortcomings due to the COVID cancellation of the season(but let’s be honest a loss to Stetson and Boston University doesn’t look good), but still, Martin seems to be running out of time.

There are a bunch of really great young coaches coming up throughout the NCAA, and the Gamecocks pursuit of one would really benefit the program. Along with some young talent, there are really established Gamecock alumni that could join the program.

Let’s analyze two of the head coaching options for the Gamecocks Men’s Basketball team and see what options could change the direction of the program. 

 

1. Alex English

VIA: Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Alex English is the most decorated Gamecock athlete in school history and not including him in the program is a huge disservice. English is one of the greatest players of all-time and is widely known as one of the most underrated NBA players ever. English is the greatest Denver Nugget in history and leads the team in most stat categories.

Alex English has a vary minimum coaching career, where he debuted as a coach for the North Charleston Lowgators. He coached the team in their inaugural season and led the Lowgators to the D-League Finals, they finished 36-20.

English then bounced around working with player development, before landing a job with the Toronto Raptors for five years. The team was a rebuilding stage and as an assistant coach, the team didn’t find much success. English did have a hand in the development of Chris Bosh before joining forces with LeBron James in Miami.

English was an amazing athlete and could definitely help the Gamecocks future. Firstly, English would be phenomenal at recruiting. English led the 1980’s in scoring and battled against some of the leagues best players of all time in Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. English would be able to connect with athletes as an alum of the university and can show off his vast accolades after being in the league for 16 years.

As someone who played a huge part of basketball in an innovative era, English knows the game inside and out. English could be a great coach and with the right game plan could really instill better consistency on the roster.

2. Jerrance Howard

VIA: Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

Jerrance Howard is currently the assistant coach for the Kansas Jayhawks and would be a great decision for the future of the Gamecocks. Howard is a really great coach and could change the fabrics of the South Carolina basketball organization.

He filled a bunch of roles for Kansas and has become one of the nation’s best recruiters. Howard has been able to pull two-five star recruits and a plethora of four-star recruits to Kansas. He was even ranked in the ESPN ’40 Under 40′ list, ranking some of the best young coaches and assistants within the NCAA.

Jerrance is really young and has quite some time to become an even better coach after playing and coaching under legend Bill Self. Howard has great playing experience playing for a really talented Illinois basketball team in the early 2000’s.

Howard would be an amazing snag for the Gamecocks and help turn South Carolina’s basketball program around.

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