It took a long time for Frank Martin to get South Carolina basketball back in shape, but he did it.
Now for himself.
“I want to be a father to my children and I want to see them grow, and I don’t want to deprive myself of that because I don’t take care of myself,” Martin said, showing off a frame that’s 35 less pounds since last season ended. “So I cut out the two things I love most in life, outside of my wife – bread and rice. And I started working out pretty hard again.”
Martin explained how his weight ballooned since he got to USC. The program was in such bad shape that he had to do a lot more than just coach. He had to charm boosters, shake hands, eat Gamecock Club suppers and most of all, recruit.
There were a lot of late nights and a lot of junk food. Martin swelled to 296 pounds by the end of the 2015-16 season and said that was enough.
He exercised, changed his eating habits and wants to get down to 250. He’s got around 10 pounds to go.
“I don’t do sodas, I don’t drink alcohol,” he said. “But I like me a piece of dessert.”
On the DL
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes showed up with his left arm in a sling. He has to wear it another two weeks.
It’s the product of a chronically sore shoulder caused by several operations. Barnes kidded that it was the reaction of throwing up his arms when Tennessee’s football team beat Georgia on a Hail Mary pass a couple of weeks ago.
USC guard Duane Notice was asked if he could name one player on Kentucky’s roster. The Wildcats, as usual, reloaded with the country’s top recruits after the last class headed to the NBA.
“Honestly … no,” he answered.
The 13 coaches not named John Calipari were asked about the SEC’s long-standing reputation. Many say the SEC’s basketball reputation is “Kentucky and the Pips.”
Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, who also served at Tennessee, said there’s no use trying to fight it. Kentucky on top is reality, not perception.
“The league’s better than when I was at Tennessee,” Pearl said. “The top of the league is not.”
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