In a press conference Wednesday, South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin detailed the team’s progress through the preseason and his outlook for the regular season.
Martin said he was impressed with the team’s offensive form but it needs to find an identity on the defensive front.
“Offensively … we’re way ahead of schedule from where I’m used to our teams being at two weeks before our first game. And because of that, I don’t really have a feel for where we’re at defensively,” Martin said.
Martin said the team's offensive play style is “aggressive and fast." This uptempo style of play stems from the team’s arsenal of high-energy backcourt options such as redshirt senior guard Seventh Woods, redshirt sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard and sophomore guard Trae Hannibal, who Martin said “goes 150 miles per hour every single play."
Martin also touched on the upcoming schedule and the level of intensity that the team is going to face.
“If you pay attention to our schedule, it’s pretty damn hard. We turn around, and we go back-to-back high major games in Kansas City, come home for three or four days then turn around and go to Houston," Martin said. "I don’t know when I’m going to be able to take a deep breath, but that’s OK."
Martin gave insight into the scheduling procedure regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained how promoters came to collegiate coaches with the idea of making a bubble for the season and how that made things difficult.
“The coaches that believed in all these promoters that were creating these phony bubbles, shame on them for thinking that these people were going to create a bubble that is going to be safe," Martin said.
Martin said the idea of a bubble "was always a pipe dream" and explained how different leagues have different testing protocols and rules surrounding the pandemic, which would have made it nearly impossible to create a functioning bubble.
“I never bought into that stuff," Martin said.
Despite all this, Martin said he is still optimistic about the team’s chances of doing well.
“They're excited about going out there and being better than they were last year," Martin said. "This is year three, that the core of our guys have been together, and I think they’re really really excited about the opportunity."
Overall, Martin said he is very happy with the team he’s got.
“I like our team," Martin said. "It’s fun to be around."