Sindarius Thornwell can do everything with South Carolina but play while he is indefinitely suspended, according to coach Frank Martin on Thursday.
“He’s with us at practice, he’s going to travel with us, he’s excited about our team, about his role on the team. Sindarius is one of the favorite guys that I’ve ever come across,” Martin said on his call-in show, his first public comments about Thornwell since he was suspended on Sunday. “He messed up. It is what it is. He’s like a son to me.”
Martin didn’t say when Thornwell would return to the team, saying that he wasn’t going to get into anything else. Sources have told The State that Thornwell’s suspension is multiple games, and he has already missed one. It doesn’t appear likely that Thornwell will suit up for Monday’s game against Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden.
Martin said he fully supports Thornwell, something associate head coach Matt Figger also said on Tuesday at a meeting of the Columbia Tip-off Club and athletics director Ray Tanner said on a Wednesday radio program. Martin also compared the situation to last year, when sparkplug Michael Carrera tore his groin in a loss to Georgia and the Gamecocks had to play at Arkansas without him (USC won that game).
“It’s no different than somebody rolling an ankle. Sometimes, you’re down because of an ankle roll, well, we’re down because of a bad decision,” Martin said. “He’ll be fine, and I got a lot of confidence in who he is and what he’s about, and it’s up to P.J. (Dozier) and Chris Silva and Duane (Notice) and Justin McKie, guys who have been through it before.”
Martin will address the media on Friday afternoon.
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