Frank Martin is about to begin his third postseason at South Carolina. Taking a look back at the good and not-so-good of his first three seasons:
---- FIVE GOOD ----
1. LITTLE BY LITTLE
It’s been by bits, but the Gamecocks have improved – from four to five to six SEC wins, more wins this year (15) than in his first two years (14 each).
2. EXTEND THE END
USC won two games in the SEC tournament last year, one more than the program had over the previous seven seasons.
3. GET ’EM IN
Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier could have gone to schools where they were assured of many wins and tournament appearances.
4. SEC GOOD
Martin has beaten every team in the league except Florida, including the two expansion teams.
Martin has shaken every hand in the Midlands, if not the state, and gotten the community re-energized in the program.
---- FIVE NOT-SO-GOOD ----
Martin’s sideline tirades have worn some fans/boosters thin and earned him a one-game suspension last year.
2. CORNERS UN-TURNED
Sustaining momentum has been an issue – USC won seven straight this year, including toppling then-No. 9 Iowa State, then began SEC play 1-6.
3. SEC BAD
In a conference that rotates its top teams under Kentucky, USC remains in the bottom four.
Many of Martin’s recruits have been dogged by bad luck – among four players this year, two had major injuries and a third never got to school.
5. GRINDING FIRST GEAR
While he didn’t inherit a rose garden, it’s been a struggle for even a few daisies to emerge while other SEC teams are rising.