Kansas State coach Frank Martin did little to end talk Saturday that he is the leading candidate to take over South Carolina.
Appearing on CBS’s NCAA tournament studio show, Martin poked fun at social media reports that he was supposed to be at a news conference Saturday to announce his hiring at USC.
He said that chatter about his going to South Carolina was a compliment to his team’s recent success, which includes four NCAA bids in five seasons.
But what Martin didn’t say was that he was staying at Kansas State or that he was not a candidate at South Carolina. Martin has become the frontrunner after reports that USC asked Kansas State permission to speak with the Wildcats’ coach.
On CBS, Martin also was asked about the suspension of Kansas State top rebounder Jamar Samuels from the Wildcats’ second-round NCAA tournament game because he accepted $200 from his AAU coach. Kansas State lost the game. Martin said he understood the decision but disagreed with the rule and noted what he did while coaching at Miami high schools
“Do you know how much money I sent to kids that played for me in high school when they were in college because I knew where they came from?” Martin said according to a transcript from The Kansas City Star. “I’m not going to tell you who they were, but I sent them a lot of money over the years to make sure they could take their girlfriend out to the movies, make sure they could wash their clothes and do all the things that scholarship money don’t cover. ... When there is no money at home, who is going to help these guys?”
The Gamecocks are looking to replace Darrin Horn, who was fired this month after compiling a 60-63 record in four seasons.
Meanwhile, USC fan favorite Gregg Marshall announced Saturday he will remain at Wichita State.
But Wichita Eagle columnist Bob Lutz reported South Carolina made no overtures to Marshall, a Greenwood native and former Winthrop coach. Wichita State said that it’s reworking Marshall’s contract with the Shockers.
“Wichita State is a special place, with great resources, from facilities to academics to people,” Marshall said in a statement. “My family and I feel this is a great place for us and look forward to continued success.”