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I wanted a little more, Frank Martin…

 I’m not going to say that Frank Martin and South Carolina have been the biggest disappointment in the SEC this season. That would be like calling last week’s episode of the Walking Dead the most disappointing in a season full of disappointing episodes. But I will say that in his first season at South Carolina, I expected (and hoped for) more from Frank Martin. When Martin made the switch from Kansas State to the SEC, I hoped that he would at the very least ignite a spark to an otherwise bland South Carolina basketball program. He might not be able to achieve impressive numerical success with a ton of wins, but at least South Carolina would bring some excitement to the table.

Last year, South Carolina finished the season 10-21 overall, with a 2-14 mark in SEC play. Make no mistake, Frank Martin took over a program in a bad place. Martin inherited a team with 2 returning starters in Bruce Ellington (29.0 mpg)  and Damien Leonard (21.0 mpg). On the flip side, five other returning players averaged between 12.4 mpg and 17.8 mpg.  In his first season at the helm of the program, the Gamecocks finished a dismal 14-18. South Carolina only won 4 SEC games, while dropping 14. South Carolina was awful on the road, finishing the season 1-9. The Gamecocks weren’t overwhelmingly strong at home either, finishing 10-8.

Frank Martin has already publicly blasted his team on one occasion this season in mid-February. The team was 12-12 at the time. For those keeping track at home, the Gamecocks did not respond in any way to Martin’s crushing, finishing the rest of the season with a 2-6 record.  Martin made many memorable and negative comments about his team on that day. Here are a few of the highlights to refresh your memory:

“If you take Bruce Ellington off our team, you’d probably have the 12 leading candidates for the Return of the Living Dead.”

“We lead the country in airball lay-ups. Guys can’t make lay-ups, it’s hard to win.”

“If this were the NBA, we’d fine them, we’d take their money, we’d release them, and say ‘Good luck ever finding another job.’ It’s not the NBA. We’re an education, so somehow, someway we have to reach them. But it’s embarrassing.”

When Martin spoke after last night’s 70-59 loss to Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC tournament, the words weren’t necessarily any kinder. When asked what he takes from the 2012-2013 season, he responded, “A big bottle of Pepto Bismol.” Martin was clearly coaching a team who had quit on him long ago. When asked if he saw the same enthusiasm out of his guys as he saw from Mississippi State’s players, he simply answered with a stone face, “No.”

Frank Martin’s starting point with South Carolina was less than ideal, but no one had a tougher task in season #1 with his new team than Mississippi State’s Rick Ray. While Martin finished the season last night with a team that looked ready to be done with it all, Ray took over a team with an even worse starting point, coupled with a season marred with injuries and roster attrition– and managed to instill a sense of pride and fight in his team down the stretch.

“I’m really happy for our players,” gushed Rick Ray after last night’s win over South Carolina (Mississippi State’s first opening round SEC tournament win in 3 years) “They’ve been through a lot this season and for them for them to come down here to Nashville and the SEC tournament and experience some success and just grind it out and get that win.”

“I am just happy for these kids that they are just out competing on the court.”

To listen to his players speak would tell a similar story of a team with the cards stacked against them, continuing to fight for one another and their new head coach. “We’re not a team that is going to give up.” Even in MSU’s 30-point drubbing in Rupp Arena, the team showed resolve and played hard until the final whistle, despite being vastly out-matched.

“Rick Ray has done as good a job as any 1st-year coach has ever done,” Frank Martin said after last night’s game.

The Bulldogs aren’t likely to do much against Tennessee in this afternoon’s second round SEC tournament game. Regardless of how they finish, Rick Ray took an even worse situation than the one Frank Martin faced, and managed to build some semblance of positive momentum heading into the off-season. Martin and South Carolina? They lost to a 10-21 Mississippi State team down to 6 scholarship players (yes, they lost another scholarship player to injury since the Kentucky game) .

I didn’t expect much, but I expected a little more, Frank Martin.


Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

22 Comments for I wanted a little more, Frank Martin…

  1. Roland
    5:21 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    This post lost it’s timing thing.
    It is less than 4 min left in the Miss St v Pumpkin Orange.

  2. Jpo
    5:25 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    You think TWD is disappointing???? :'(

  3. Jimmy
    5:26 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink


  4. The Walking Dead
    5:30 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    This season has been excellent. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  5. Eric K
    5:34 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    #4 thank you! Only thing disappointing is when Alley post something! THE WALKING DEAD!! Great show!! GO CATS!!

  6. Big Blue Coming At You
    5:41 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Martin has nothing to work with. It’s going to take a few years before he can get some players in there to be competitive and get rid of the dead weight they have now. At least he improved the program from last season. That’s all they can ask for at this point until he can get some real players in there.

  7. Jpo
    5:42 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    5. Lol nice

  8. jumpman78
    5:47 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    What show are you watching? Oh that’s right KSR likes to run a post about The Bachelor. What a joke!

  9. Rae
    5:50 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Frank Martin just needs time. He is recruiting Hawkins, who will most likely become their best player next year if Cal can’t find a scholarship for him.

    5:52 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Man ksr is getting a lot of negativity lately!

  11. brain
    5:57 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    When you dissed the Walking Dead I quit reading because you’re obviously an idiot. Best season for one of the best shows on TV.

  12. Roland
    5:59 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Martin in that pic looks like he just saw Tony Schiavone.

  13. shields eyes
    6:03 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Why so much bold type?

  14. Al's IndiCats
    6:22 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    DAMN!!!!!! From those statements that were in the gray, I’m extremely happy I wasn’t close to that bus old Frankie boy was driving!

  15. BlueDoug
    6:38 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    It sometimes takes a few years to change a mentality. Look at Crean at IU. Marting will grab a couple good juco guys and recruit to his system. In year three you will see a different team.

    I guess thats my largest beef with 20 years olds blogging. What real experience do you bring to the table to have ANY real insight? I love this site. I dont love the analysis of people who have no real idea of what they are talking about.

  16. Wesley
    6:57 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    If he ever hopes to recruit, he’s going down the wrong path.

  17. The Governor
    7:08 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Bad season of Walking Dead? Are you kidding me? Not as good as the first season,I grant you, but a hell of a lot better than the second season.

  18. UK Freshmen
    7:21 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    What?? The Cats have been the biggest disappointment in the SEC. At least that’s what Cal says.

  19. Twd
    8:53 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    The only way the walking dead and South Carolina can be compared is how much loss and sadness the season has been filled with. Overall, the walking dead can be only compared UK in that all they do is WIN!

  20. Rick Grimes says
    9:03 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t wait for Ally to get bit so I can sick Carl on her. She’s as annoying as Lori was.

  21. bigdinky
    11:44 pm March 14, 2013 Permalink

    South Carolina’s assistant coach, Matt Figger, is from Letcher County, played baseball at Pikeville College, and coached at Eastern Ky. Univ. They have that going for them.

  22. theWilkman
    11:39 am March 15, 2013 Permalink

    You lost me with the Walking Dead line, I couldn’t read any further after that. This season has been far and away better than the last.