South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin is not off to a great start in his first year with the program. The Gamecocks are currently 12-12, and almost all of their wins came before conference play began. They’ve lost nine of their last 11 games, and Thursday night’s 64-46 beat-down at the hands of LSU was the team’s fifth straight loss.
The loss infuriated Martin. To say that he bashed his team in his postgame press conference would be a legendary understatement.
“If you take (point guard) Bruce Ellington off our team, you’d probably have the 12 leading candidates for the starring roles in ‘The Return of the Living Dead,’ the zombie movie,” Martin said, via The Post and Courier. “If you took Bruce off our team, our guys would probably win an Academy (Award) for their performance in that movie. I’ve been doing this for 28 years, nine of which as a junior varsity high school coach. That means I’ve dealt with 14-year-olds. I’ve never been more embarrassed to call myself a basketball coach than I am today.
“If this was the NBA, we’d fine them, we’d take their money, we’d release them and say, ‘Good luck with ever finding another job.’ It’s not the NBA. So we’re in education. Somehow, some way, we have to reach them. It’s embarrassing.”
In blaming the players, Martin also seemed to be blaming himself. His basic message was that he is embarrassed that players who he is responsible for have put forth what he believes is minimal effort. When a reporter asked him if he has lost the team, Martin said that any player he has “lost” should plan on not being at South Carolina next season.
“If I’ve lost them, then they better disappear, because it’s going to be hard for them to be here next year if I’ve lost them 10 months into the job,” he said. “You’ve got to ask them that question. I haven’t lost Bruce. I can tell you that. I haven’t lost Michael Carrera, even though he’s a freshman and he runs around like a chicken with his head cut off half the time and doesn’t know what’s happening. But outside of those two guys, if I had lost them, then they better figure out where home is at, because obviously, it’s not going to be here.”
Martin built Kansas State into a national contender, and South Carolina brought him in to do the same at their school. One thing players who have played for Martin can tell you is that he’s not afraid to blast his team in public. Last season, he gave us this fantastic moment when he was furious after Kansas State lost to Baylor at home. When Frank is pissed, everyone is going to hear about it. And any coach whose team has lost nine of 11 games has a right to be pissed.
Video via Eye on College BasketballGoogle+