If you listened to the opening statement of Frank Martin's press conference on Wednesday, you'd think he was the head football coach at South Carolina.
"We had two opportunities to become bowl eligible last week and we messed that up. We'll try to work a little harder this week and see if we can continue to make progress."
Martin was referring to the opportunity to pick up his sixth win as the men's basketball coach here at South Carolina. The Gamecocks fell on the road at St. John's 89-65 and followed it up with a loss to rival Clemson at home by a score of 64-55.
A big problem for the Gamecocks in the early going this season has been their offense. In the three losses this season, South Carolina is averaging just over 57 points per game. Their opponents are averaging 73 points. It's tough to overcome a large margin like that if you're not hitting your shots and not playing as a team.
Martin addressed those issues on Wednesday.
"We've lost three games and all three games have basically been lost with our inability to play offense," said Martin about the way South Carolina has lost so far this season. "The problem with our team and we are all in agreement about how embarrassingly bad we've been on offense. We've got to fix that. Our team defense has not been great, but it is good enough to win with. The problem is we are giving teams so many free points because of our inability to play offense. Our offense is so bad for numerous reasons. It's too long to sit here and explain right now. It deflates us. It brings a negative tone. We play with such an individual frame of mind on offense. We don't pass, we don't screen, we don't know the concepts that we need to play with and those things fall on my plate. Those are all coaching things. We have to do a better job of teaching, demanding and seeing them execute. The lack of all of those things creates a negative tone on offense, which carries a negative tone for how we play. That's something that has got to be fixed."
Martin has mentioned before on the team's inability to communicate on the court. Without that communication, it becomes difficult to run the offense that Martin wants done at South Carolina. So the product you see on the court has become very bland and vanilla and Coach Martin mentioned that this might be the most vanilla offense he's had in his coaching career.
"This is the most vanilla we've been on offense in my six years as a head coach, and probably going back 16 years as a high school. We're doing that on purpose. What we're doing is so different from what we were doing before I'm not saying that our way is right and what they were doing before was wrong. It's just different. We're really vanilla. That does get frustrating sometimes."
The Gamecocks have a chance to recover from a two-game losing streak on Friday when Jacksonville comes to Columbia. The Dolphins enter the contest with a 4-5 record so far this season and averaging 68.9 points per game. The only scorer in double-figures for Jacksonville is Jarvis Haywood, with 10.9 points per game. They do, however, have three other players averaging 9.0 points per game or higher.
Martin had this to say about the Dolphins:
"They are as aggressive and physical as can be. They play really hard. They remind me of Elon a little bit. Don't shoot the ball as well as Elon's guards, but they play with the same physicality. Elon was a physical team. They play with the same physicality. They are going to come in her and punch us in the mouth and see if we can punch back."
South Carolina hopes to get back to their winnings ways this Friday at 7:00 p.m. with the game televised on FoxSportsSouth.
Martin hoping to fix the offense
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