Where Does Gamecocks Men’s Basketball Go From Here?

Let me just shoot everybody straight here. I have zero idea what is happening with Frank Martin right now. I have no clue if he’s staying, leaving, doing the Macarena, anything could be happening right now, and I don’t have a clue.

What I do know, is that at the time of writing this (4:47pm, March 22nd), 11 seeded Syracuse, 7 seeded Oregon, either 11 seeded UCLA or 14 seeded Abilene Christian, 12 seeded Oregon State, and oh yah, 15 SEEDED ORAL ROBERTS, are all going to the sweet sixteen.

Remind anybody of a certain team from 2017? Well, those days are over for us, but what the Gamecocks NEED to do, is get back to playing this time of year, because once you get in, anything is possible.

I’m not looking to turn Gamecock basketball into a powerhouse, an SEC threat, hell I don’t even care if we’re ranked. What Gamecock basketball needs ASAP is consistency and talent.

Well, how do you get those? As n precursor I will say, I love Frank Martin as a human being, he’s a great dude. I’m sure a lot of the team is as well, so anything I say here, is not personal.

1. Coaching STYLE

Big shocker, I don’t want Frank gone. I think he’s a great person (as previously stated), he’s tough as nails, he has a final four birth, and he gets a slight pass due to COVID.

With all that, the way South Carolina plays is just not successful in today’s NCAA scene. You see teams in the tournament this weekend playing, and they do one of three things.

First, they’re crazy shooters who play disciplined defense. Second, they’re crazy athletic and can run the floor. And third, you’re watching Gonzaga and they’re both.

South Carolina tries to turn defensive stops into fast break opportunities, but still tries to slow down the game. It makes no sense.

Coach Martin needs to buckle down on a style to play that works, either get athletes and run the floor, press the other teams guards and get bigs who can handle, or get guys that can SHOOT THE ROCK, and somebody else to facilitate and get isolation points/assists.

That’s how to play these days, and it all leads to my next point.

2. Recruiting

South Carolina is the arguably worst school at recruiting for men’s basketball in the Power Five. There, I said it.

We had guys like Zion, Bryce McGowens, PJ Hall, etc. in our area… how are we not getting these guys. Well, this feeds Into my last point. It’s a cycle.

Without a style of play that’s modern, exciting and ACTUALLY WINS BALLGAMES, top tier recruits will favor going to other schools rather than represent their own home state or come out of state to play here.

Coach Martin needs to lose a little bit of that tough guy edge and cater to his players for once, and try to go out and get a big name to wear the Garnet and Black.

3. Fanbase

I’m calling out myself on this one. I, or should I say we, need to have realistic expectations for this program.

They aren’t good right now, and that’s ok. In order to rebuild a program, the first step is admitting it’s not at its best right now.

I have full confidence Coach Martin can do that with some modern changes, but as a fanbase we need to give him, the players and the staff time to fix this before yanking out the plug.

We’re the school that let a Kirby Smart poser clang on to seven games before letting a man who couldn’t get a mountain west team winning games coach our football program.

The least we can do is give a man who battled COVID like Rocky battled Ivan Drago another year or more, while being realistic with our expectations.

Thanks for reading my mid day rant about the state of this program. I cannot wait to experience a March madness game where I’m actually rooting for a team and not my six team parlay to FINALLY hit.

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