Frank Martin

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Veteran frontcourt struggles as South Carolina loses exhibition to Division II Augusta

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South Carolina suffered a puzzling loss to a Division II opponent on Friday night as the Gamecocks hosted an exhibition game. Coming only 10 days before South Carolina begins their regular season, the Gamecocks suffered a 77-72 loss to Augusta.

With the veteran frontcourt of Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar struggling to bring intensity and production, the Gamecocks blew a 12-point first-half lead as they lost to a DII opponent who only finished 16-13 last season. While South Carolina can point to the fact that Martin didn’t use seven timeouts, while basically allowing his young team to play through mistakes during a close game, this is still a really bad loss for a team entering a deep SEC this season.

“I’m kind of happy that I kind of let it happen, for lack of better words,” Martin said to reporters after the loss. “Because we weren’t very good in practice this week. And we got so many new guys on our team that I’m still trying to figure some stuff out.

“So I just kind of let this happen.”

South Carolina opens the regular season with three buy games at home against USC Upstate, Stony Brook and Norfolk State before they have to face Providence and George Washington or Michigan on Nov. 17/18 at a neutral site.

Obviously, the Gamecocks need more out of their veteran frontcourt, as Silva battled foul trouble against a DII team after having that happen a lot last season. But, Martin also left Silva out of action for the final 10 minutes — something he wouldn’t typically do during the regular season. Silva finished with only seven points and four rebounds in 14 minutes of action while Kotsar had four points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.

The Gamecocks also struggled with 13 missed free throws and 16 turnovers, as this team has plenty to fix besides for an inconsistent frontcourt effort.

It’ll be interesting to see if this loss acts as a wake-up call for South Carolina and how they handle this preseason loss. If things don’t turn around, it could be a very long season for the Gamecocks in the SEC.

Brandon Martin, son of South Carolina coach Frank Martin, to play at USC Upstate

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Expect South Carolina coach Frank Martin to pay more attention to USC Upstate this fall.

New USC Upstate coach Dave Dickerson has announced his first recruiting class, which includes Martin’s son Brandon.

The younger Martin is a 6-foot-6 forward who averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game during his senior year at Cardinal Newman High School. He then played a post-graduate season at St. Thomas More School in Connecticut.

Frank Martin is starting his seventh season coaching the Gamecocks. He has often used his son as an example during talks with the media about the difficulty of connecting with young people.

Dickerson was hired in April to coach the Spartans. He spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State under Thad Matta.

South Carolina adds Maine grad-transfer Myers

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South Carolina is adding some immediate help in its follow-up season to a Final Four run.

Wesley Myers, a graduate transfer from Maine, is joining the Gamecocks’ program, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

The 6-foot-2 guard gives Frank Martin’s team an instant infusion of scoring as they look to replace SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier. Myers 16.9 points per game last year on 43.7 percent shooting, including a 34.3 percent mark from 3-point range.

He’s the second grad-transfer Martin has picked up this offseason, joining Florida Atlantic’s Frank Booker. The pair should help ease the transition from last year’s success to a much less experienced team that returns just a pair of starters.

Myers, though, doesn’t arrive in Columbia without some notable history.

Last year, after transferring to Maine from Niagara, was suspended after an altercation with a teammate, according to reports. He and teammate Marko Pirovic argued over locker room music, and the alleged ensuing altercation left Pirovic with a broken jaw, according to reports. Three other Maine players were suspended after telling a team athletic trainer that Pirovic had injured himself in a fall in the shower. Pirovic declined to press charges.

Video: Frank Martin’s first pitch misses its mark

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One of the great things about ceremonial first pitches in baseball is it lets teams and communities honor deserving people.

The other great thing is that it often makes people look silly.

We got the best of both worlds Tuesday evening when South Carolina coach Frank Martin tossed out the first pitch at a game of the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, the Columbia Fireflies.

Martin, who led his Gamecocks to an unlikely Final Four appearance just over a month ago, was, as the saying goes, juuuuuuust a bit outside with that offering to the catcher. He was also just a bit short, too.

Maybe the best part, though, was Martin rotating his shoulder after the wayward pitch, as if it was caused by some random mechanical glitch or a sudden physical issue. Like if one of his players blamed an errant 3-pointer on his hands being sweaty or something.

Martin’s pitch was nowhere near the worst we’ve seen from celebrity guests, but still funny enough that he’s likely to catch some guff from his players – and the Internet – about it.

VIDEO: Frank Martin’s sideline demeanor as a high school coach

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South Carolina coach Frank Martin has the reputation of being rather, shall we say, intense on the sidelines during games.

The coach has a stare that seemingly could bore a hole through his players when they do something that doesn’t reach his level of expectation. Martin’s demeanor, though, didn’t just come into form once he hit the college ranks.

He was plenty intense on high school sidelines as well.

Martin won three titles while at Miami Senior in the mid-1990s, coaching the likes of future pros Steve Blake and Udonis Haslem. Now having reached his first career Final Four, that sideline persona has put him on the precipice of winning yet another championship, this time at the collegiate level.

Frank Martin comments on Sindarius Thornwell suspension

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South Carolina head coach Frank Martin commented on Sindarius Thornwell’s suspension during his call-in show on Thursday.

Thornwell, who was the leading scorer for the 8-0 No. 19 Gamecocks, was suspended indefinitely last Sunday. Martin has yet to provide a reason for the suspension.

“He’s been with us at practice, he’ll travel with us, he’s excited about our team, his role on the team,” he said, according to South Carolina’s 247 site. “Sindarius is one of my favorite guys I’ve ever come across. He messed up and it is what it is. He’s like a son to me. He messed up and he’s owned up to his mess up.”

“Outside of that, I’m not going to get into anything else. He has my full support. Our job is to prepare our team to play, we don’t prepare individual players to play. It’s no different to someone rolling an ankle. We’re down because of a bad decision. We’ll be fine.”

Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 boards and 4.1 assists. The Gamecocks play Seton Hall in New York City on Monday night.