The Daily Gamecock

Martin preparing for new season

7 freshmen, 1 transfer part of 2013-14 roster

Head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin is taking all the necessary preparations this off-season to ensure the Gamecocks have a successful 2013-2014 campaign.

Martin, entering his second season as men’s head coach, believes that despite a 14-18 record (4-14 SEC record), the team played some good basketball down the stretch of the season and left a lot of room for improvement.

“I think we were able to lay the foundation for our program for the things we’re going to go about, play like, and be like,” Martin said.

South Carolina’s record may not indicate it, but Martin is correct. The Gamecocks played well towards the end of the year and did improve on certain troubles the team faced earlier in the season. The additions of new players and staff members will help the Gamecocks this coming season.

“I get excited about all of them, I think they all bring a dynamic to our team that we need,” Martin said.
The Gamecocks recruiting class was highlighted by ESPN Top 150 recruit Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell has Martin very excited for what his game can add to the team.

“I was extremely proud of Sindarius, proud of his family, proud of our staff for building a relationship of trust with him. I was proud of the fact he had confidence in us, proud of his loyalty to want to put on his state’s name on the front of jersey to connect it with the back of the jersey with his last name on it,” Martin said. “That loyalty and trust is part of something I am extremely, extremely excited for to have in our program.”

Gamecock basketball fans will be excited for Thornwell’s abilities this coming season. The South Carolina native played his senior season with Oak Hill Academy, where he gained national recognition competing against the best high school basketball teams in the country.

The signing of Thornwell could potentially bring in many more stars for Martin and the Gamecocks, but Martin made it clear the signing of one athlete does not mean he and his staff can just expect players now.

“Time will tell, we have to recruit them and it is our job to build our program and build our relationships with people,” Martin said.

In addition with Thornwell, the Gamecock team also landed a key member to their staff this off-season, bringing in former Tulane and Miami head coach Perry Clark.

“He’s a winner as an assistant coach, a winner has a head coach, and he is a person I have a personal relationship with, I have trust in him and I think he adds value to our staff and value to our program,” Martin said.

Martin and Clark have the difficult task of coaching seven freshmen in the SEC this coming season.

“All you can do is educate, all you can is be repetitive, all you can do is communicate and try and prepare them best mentality and physically for what is coming,” Martin said.

Bruce Ellington is going to play football and basketball again this year, which has Martin beyond excited to have a young man like Ellington.

“As a coach you’re lucky when you get around certain players, certain people, and I am lucky I have gotten around him. He’s special, he does the right things, he is an unbelievable athlete, and he is an unbelievable human being, he’s special and I am lucky to be around him,” Martin said.

All the excitement of a new season and a fresh year for Martin to improve upon his first year at South Carolina is building. Martin urges Gamecock students to come out and support the team more this season.

“We need you, we need you. If you look across the country and look at all the top 25 programs in the country they are probably the top 25 student bodies in the country,” Martin said. “We have to play better, we have to do better a job of creating a better place for students that want to be a part of our games, but if our students want to have a top 25 program, if our students want to complete for an SEC Championship, we need their help and need them to support our guys.”


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