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Frank Martin responds to fan frustration

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Frank Martin responds to fan frustration

Jan. 13, 2020

It’s been a long few weeks for South Carolina basketball. The Gamecocks, after beating Virginia, have lost their last three games, including the first two to start conference play, and are still looking for some answers with 17 regular season games left.

As they prepare to host No. 10 Kentucky Wednesday, there’s mounting frustration from the fan base that Frank Martin isn’t worried about. (VIEW ARTICLE) FREE GAMECOCKCENTRAL

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The coaches and players are frustrated too, I'm sure.   I'm going to try to support the team all season.   Frank is trying to find a solution to the problems.   We were competitive in our first two SEC games, and I expect we will be many more times this season.

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53 minutes ago, USCMM said:

I don't understand why Frank even addresses it. I would not comment. Any act of addressing it just adds fuel to the fire.

Agree with this.  He also bashes social media, but Frank has been known to respond on Twitter to an idiot a time or two, so I have to think he is reading social media and reacting to it.  Also don't understand why he is upset with frustrated fans as he is clearly frustrated with his team as well.  He gets frustrated with his guys when they don't do their job and we get frustrated with them and him when he does not do what he is paid to do it is a pretty simple thing. 

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Sometimes Frank makes it hard to be in his corner. Being "that close" to turning it around half way through January when you're hovering around .500 just means your tournament prospects are rapidly slipping away. Again. It's great we beat UVA, but we've got losses that negate any kind of benefit of the doubt the Virginia win earned. It's an aberration compared to the rest of the season so far.

We can hire a father figure and mentor to the players for a lot less than $2.5M/yr, so what's the rest of that money for? Being a great tournament coach is worthless if you can't get there.

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20 hours ago, gAmkok said:

Sometimes Frank makes it hard to be in his corner. Being "that close" to turning it around half way through January when you're hovering around .500 just means your tournament prospects are rapidly slipping away. Again. It's great we beat UVA, but we've got losses that negate any kind of benefit of the doubt the Virginia win earned. It's an aberration compared to the rest of the season so far.

We can hire a father figure and mentor to the players for a lot less than $2.5M/yr, so what's the rest of that money for? Being a great tournament coach is worthless if you can't get there.

Still feel that way after knocking off #10 Kentucky?  Does that make those losses feel any better?  That’s TWO huge, signature wins now, plus Clemson is looking like a better win by the day.  Not too shabby of a Head Coach, I’d say.  Especially given the youth and inexperience of this year’s team.

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Didn't watch or listen to the UK game.  Will have to watch the replay.

Beat a top-ranked team then lose to a Slippery Rock U nobody has been the pattern with Frank's teams.

We will beat UK and UVA, but still not make the NCAAT because of consistent inconsistency unless something changes.

We'll see.

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 12:00 AM, Gary said:

The coaches and players are frustrated too, I'm sure.   I'm going to try to support the team all season.   Frank is trying to find a solution to the problems.   We were competitive in our first two SEC games, and I expect we will be many more times this season.

Frank needs to be in the funny farm

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22 hours ago, doublea1971 said:

Still feel that way after knocking off #10 Kentucky?  Does that make those losses feel any better?  That’s TWO huge, signature wins now, plus Clemson is looking like a better win by the day.  Not too shabby of a Head Coach, I’d say.  Especially given the youth and inexperience of this year’s team.

We were lucky to win that game.  Everything had to play out the way it did.  Our free throw shooting was atrocious yet again.  Coussinart could probably only make that shot about 10% of the time. We will not win many games shooting 55-60% from the FT line.  I won't be the least bit surprised if we lose Saturday to TA&M

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16 hours ago, Blitzkrieg said:

We were lucky to win that game.  Everything had to play out the way it did.  Our free throw shooting was atrocious yet again.  Coussinart could probably only make that shot about 10% of the time. We will not win many games shooting 55-60% from the FT line.  I won't be the least bit surprised if we lose Saturday to TA&M

I get your point, for certain.  But I disagree with your first premise about Coach Martin.  (And before I go any further... this is not intended to pick a fight with you.  Just wanted to put some facts in front of the forum).

Isn't your issue of luck true of EVERY game, though?  If things play out differently or luck is not on your side, you lose rather than win.  That seems a bit of an odd argument to make, given that there is reality (the way things DID happen) and there is alternative realities (the way things COULD have taken place).  Sports (with wins and losses) only operate in the world of reality.

Here's the reality of our FT shooting... FTs COULD help us WIN games (see vs. Tenn for an example), but it's not truthfully hurting us as much as everyone thinks it is.  Look at these numbers:

vs. Clemson (a WIN) - 1/2 in 1st half (50%); 12-17 in 2nd half (70.59%) = 13/19 or 68.4% on the game.
vs. UVA (a WIN) - 1/1 in 1st half (100%); 9-13 in 2nd half (69.23%) = 10/14 or 71.4% on the game.
vs. Stetson (a LOSS) - 4/8 in 1st half (50%); 8-16 in 2nd half (50%) = 12/24 or 50% on the game.
vs. Florida (a LOSS) - 13-14 in 1st half (92.86%); 5-10 in 2nd half (50%) = 18/24 or 75% on the game.
vs. Tennessee (a LOSS) - 6-7 in 1st half (85.71%); 7-15 in 2nd half (46.67%) = 13/22 or 59.1% on the game.
vs. Kentucky (a WIN) - 5-9 in 1st half (55.56%); 11-21 in 2nd half (52.38%) = 16/30 of 53.3% on the game.

See any patterns?  I don't really either... Some games we had less attempts and won.  Some games we had more attempts, but hit a smaller % and won.  Some games we took a high number, hit a high number and lost.  What that tells me is that we're being competitive whether we're taking FTs or not.  Sure... hitting more FTs gives us a better chance to win the games.  But taking high percentage SHOTS that are not FTs gives you a much BETTER chance of winning the game.

My point here is that SHOT SELECTION and making those good shots count is what is winning or losing games for us right now.

Now to your TAMU point... I can see us losing that game as well.  I think we have a fighting chance, though.  And if we can get AJ involved in a positive way for a change, we will be good in that game AND a pretty competitive team in this league as well.

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2 minutes ago, doublea1971 said:

I get your point, for certain.  But I disagree with your first premise about Coach Martin.  (And before I go any further... this is not intended to pick a fight with you.  Just wanted to put some facts in front of the forum).

Isn't your issue of luck true of EVERY game, though?  If things play out differently or luck is not on your side, you lose rather than win.  That seems a bit of an odd argument to make, given that there is reality (the way things DID happen) and there is alternative realities (the way things COULD have taken place).  Sports (with wins and losses) only operate in the world of reality.

Here's the reality of our FT shooting... FTs COULD help us WIN games (see vs. Tenn for an example), but it's not truthfully hurting us as much as everyone thinks it is.  Look at these numbers:

vs. Clemson (a WIN) - 1/2 in 1st half (50%); 12-17 in 2nd half (70.59%) = 13/19 or 68.4% on the game.
vs. UVA (a WIN) - 1/1 in 1st half (100%); 9-13 in 2nd half (69.23%) = 10/14 or 71.4% on the game.
vs. Stetson (a LOSS) - 4/8 in 1st half (50%); 8-16 in 2nd half (50%) = 12/24 or 50% on the game.
vs. Florida (a LOSS) - 13-14 in 1st half (92.86%); 5-10 in 2nd half (50%) = 18/24 or 75% on the game.
vs. Tennessee (a LOSS) - 6-7 in 1st half (85.71%); 7-15 in 2nd half (46.67%) = 13/22 or 59.1% on the game.
vs. Kentucky (a WIN) - 5-9 in 1st half (55.56%); 11-21 in 2nd half (52.38%) = 16/30 of 53.3% on the game.

See any patterns?  I don't really either... Some games we had less attempts and won.  Some games we had more attempts, but hit a smaller % and won.  Some games we took a high number, hit a high number and lost.  What that tells me is that we're being competitive whether we're taking FTs or not.  Sure... hitting more FTs gives us a better chance to win the games.  But taking high percentage SHOTS that are not FTs gives you a much BETTER chance of winning the game.

My point here is that SHOT SELECTION and making those good shots count is what is winning or losing games for us right now.

Now to your TAMU point... I can see us losing that game as well.  I think we have a fighting chance, though.  And if we can get AJ involved in a positive way for a change, we will be good in that game AND a pretty competitive team in this league as well.

The only fact that really matters is will we make the Tourney which is doubtful as of today.  As far as the FT shooting goes if Lawson (our best FT shooter) hits both of those late shots the game is pretty much over.  If he makes 1 we go up by 3 forcing UK to make a 3 point shot to tie instead of the relatively easy short jumper for 2.

Also free throw stats don't take into account the potential points you're missing out on when you miss the front end of a one and one.   And I'm not saying we need to be in the top 10 of free throw shooting but the last rating I seen had us at something like 345 out of 351 D1 teams.  That's unacceptable.

 

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On 1/15/2020 at 9:12 PM, doublea1971 said:

Still feel that way after knocking off #10 Kentucky?  Does that make those losses feel any better?  That’s TWO huge, signature wins now, plus Clemson is looking like a better win by the day.  Not too shabby of a Head Coach, I’d say.  Especially given the youth and inexperience of this year’s team.

I do still feel that way, even after beating UK and A&M. The trouble isn't that the team has a low ceiling; they actually have a very high ceiling, as they've demonstrated in the wins over UVa and UK. The problem is that their inconsistency brings into play their way-t00-low floor much too often (see Stetson/Boston). Those games aren't anomalies, they're the inevitable result of the team's potential in the same way the quality wins are. The range of potential sinks much too low for a team with tournament aspirations.

I like Frank and I want him to succeed, but he has to figure out how to raise his team's potential floor above the likes of Stetson if we're ever to have a season where we get to February and aren't hoping for a miracle or some good will from the NCAAT committee (which we likely won't get).

So, I'm happy for the good wins. And I'm also glad you're more positive about the overall state of the program in general than I am. I'm just ready for us to be a "tournament program*" like I hoped when we hired Frank. I still think he has the potential to get us there, but it's unrealized potential so far. He needs to raise his potential floor, too. I'm not so sure he sees that need though.

 

*"tournament program" is defined (by me) as a team who consistently makes the NCAAT (3 out of 5 years)

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On 1/19/2020 at 11:02 AM, gAmkok said:

I do still feel that way, even after beating UK and A&M. The trouble isn't that the team has a low ceiling; they actually have a very high ceiling, as they've demonstrated in the wins over UVa and UK. The problem is that their inconsistency brings into play their way-t00-low floor much too often (see Stetson/Boston). Those games aren't anomalies, they're the inevitable result of the team's potential in the same way the quality wins are. The range of potential sinks much too low for a team with tournament aspirations.

I like Frank and I want him to succeed, but he has to figure out how to raise his team's potential floor above the likes of Stetson if we're ever to have a season where we get to February and aren't hoping for a miracle or some good will from the NCAAT committee (which we likely won't get).

So, I'm happy for the good wins. And I'm also glad you're more positive about the overall state of the program in general than I am. I'm just ready for us to be a "tournament program*" like I hoped when we hired Frank. I still think he has the potential to get us there, but it's unrealized potential so far. He needs to raise his potential floor, too. I'm not so sure he sees that need though.

 

*"tournament program" is defined (by me) as a team who consistently makes the NCAAT (3 out of 5 years)

I'm encouraged to hear that you still like Coach Martin.  That's a step above many of the folks in this forum.

Here's the thing... and I've been saying this AD NAUSEUM since last season ended.  It was going to take some time to put the pieces together for this year.  I know that people hate the "we're a young team" rationale, but that is a reality for us this year.  I tried to detail over and over again in this forum WELL before the season started, that we had only three players returning who had any court time together in the last year.  The ENTIRETY of the team had not played under Martin's system either at all, or in at least one full year.  I also tried to explain that missing returners like TJ Moss and Justin Minaya were players who could not return to their Freshman levels quickly (only because a full year off the court due to LEG injuries is NOT an easy return for anyone - even the greatest of superstars).  We're seeing that pan out now, as Minaya has JUST gotten back to a high level of play defensively and is beginning to round out offensively as well (Moss will be there soon enough).  The others - Jermaine Cousinard and Jair Bolden - both had not actually competed with the team in active play against conference or non-conference opponents.  So aside from Maik Kotsar (who's playing like a BEAST in his Sr. season), Alanzo Frink (who didn't really get into a groove last year), AJ Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant, the WHOLE team is new to everything.

I'm quite optimistic about the remainder of the season, though our next opponent (Auburn) will be a tough team for us to handle.  We showed that we can hang with Tennessee and Florida, we've beaten UK, and Alabama is the only other top-tier team that we've yet to play who I am really worried about.  I, personally, think LSU will not turn out to be as strong of a team as they have seemed thus far, and I think that Arkansas has weaknesses that Frank will know how to exploit.  Fortunately, we only face Arkansas, 'Bama, and LSU once this year (excepting the SEC tourney) - so we've got an advantage there.

If we continue to play defense the way we are currently, and we don't have any significant injuries to starters like Jermaine Cousinard or Maik Kotsar, I honestly think we could end up at 12-6 at a minimum in league play this year.  If we pull off wins against Bama, Tennessee and Auburn and we take BOTH games against UGA, I think we're in the tourney this year.

Long story short... keep watching these 'Cocks!  They will continue to be the "cardiac kids", and give us fits, but I think they're capable of and WILL win a lot more games this year.  We're built like a team who is a contender past the Sweet 16 in the NCAAs (though I don't think we'll make it to the Final Four this time).  I'm excited to see what we can pull off against Auburn.  They're hurting right now - a wounded team - but a team that because of some stinging losses will put up a heck of a fight.  Coach Martin has a way of getting inside Bruce Pearl's head though, so I expect a "W" out of this one.

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