There is an undeniable buzz surrounding Gamecock basketball that is sure to reach into coming seasons. Since Frank Martin was announced as head coach on March 27, people have had visions of South Carolina’s return to basketball relevance. Internet message boards are abuzz as fans try to predict records, follow recruiting and speculate how long it will be before Martin has the team knocking on the door of an NCAA tournament bid.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that enthusiasm. In fact, it’s more than welcome after watching the Colonial Life Arena turn into a road game for the Cocks several times last year. What Garnet and Cocky isn’t crazy about is the way that buzz is building.
This year’s basketball poster image features Coach Martin standing in front of the unrecognizable silhouette of a few athletes…that unmistakable grimace of determination on his face. Early Gamecock Productions videos feature the voice and image of Coach Martin promising to “Take it Back”. Then last night at the men’s exhibition match-up with Kentucky Wesleyan, during Carolina’s starting lineups…guess who got the most raving applause…Frank Martin.
Now, we here at Garnet and Cocky are as excited as anyone about Gamecock Basketball. We hope (and we’re optimistic) that Coach Martin will lead the basketball team to new heights in the coming years. But, Frank Martin is just a man. He is a coach, a job he is being well compensated for. He has embraced the Carolina family, and we will continue to embrace him as well.
But, right now…before the season even formally starts…Gamecock Nation would be well served to remember that South Carolina Basketball is about the student-athletes on the court, not the coach on the sideline.