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Men's Basketball

Frank Martin Wednesday Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 14, 2012

November 14, 2012

The Gamecocks host Morgan State on Friday evening at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match up. The game is slated to be broadcast by SportSouth.

On his evaluation of the Milwaukee game...
I was happy. I've got to develop confidence in more guys on the team so that we can create depth. They've got to do their part, but I have to do mine in trusting in them to create that from our team. We've got to do a better job there as coaches, Specifically me because I'm the one that makes the decision about who plays. What my thought process was when I visit with you after the game, is kind of what I felt once we deciphered the film. Our offense was pretty good in the first half; we just missed shots. That disheartened us a little bit. It took away from our defensive scheme. I thought we played pretty well defensively first 10 minutes, then the lack of shots put us in a funk. And then our bench didn't do really well when they got in there. In the second half, we got tired. I've been on teams that have come back from 15, 16, 17, 20-point deficits once. I don't think I've ever been on a team that has come back from that deficit twice in a game. It shows a lot about the resolve of our kids and the fight and their willingness to succeed.

On confidence carrying over from Sunday's game...
I hope so. I sure wish they would have been a little more exited about practice yesterday when it started. I think there were only three guys that said boo in the first hour of practice and that was LaShay Page, Michael Carrera and Mindaugas Kacinas. I don't think the rest of the guys said a word the first half hour of practice. We spoke about that during and after practice. I hope so. Everyone wants to win 40-point games. Believe me, I'd much rather sit back every once and awhile and not have to make every decision and be put in a place where every decision I make can help us win or lose a game. I'd like to sit back every once and a while and let guys play through some mistakes so they can gain some game experience. The only way you learn how to win games like that is to be in that situation, regardless of opponent. Hopefully that can be a building block for us.

On the improved defensive play in the second half against Milwaukee...
It's what it's all about. I thought we played well defensively the second half. I was disappointed with two consecutive possessions coming down the stretch once we had taken the lead. One where their point guard took an outlet pass, I think we had just made a free throw, their point guard came the length of the floor and we never picked him up until he got inside the 3-point line. Our pick up point is the half court. Then we fouled. That's a bad defensive play at a crucial time in the game. Then we had another one. They called a timeout and they ran double high ball screen and then one big screen down. We were up six. They jumped up and hit a three with 50 seconds to go. That's another break down we can't have, especially in that point of the game. Outside of that, I was proud of our guys, our bigs, Michael and Mindaugas for their first time out against a difficult matchup for young kids. They were a hard match up for young kids because of the way they play on offense. Those guys were rock solid. Mike had a play where he rotated over to help on a drive, they made a pass and he tripped and fell. They made another pass and he got up and blocked the guys shot. Right in the heart of the game. That's a big time play by a freshman. That's a big time play by anybody, let alone a freshman. Our ball defense has to get better. The way we guard the basketball is a huge part of our success. When I watch that tape over and over with our staff, that's one thing we all say, our ball pressure and ability to guard the basketball really has to improve.

On Brian Richardson...
Brian does some things that can really help our team. Brian understands our defensive concepts. He has to do a better job of engaging in the moment, but he understands our concepts defensively. Offensively he provides a guy that can score the ball off the dribble. That's something he can really bring to the team, a dimension he can add to our team. He's got some size and athleticism. I expect him to continue to improve as the year goes on.

On several players cramping during the game Sunday...
They're fine. RJ Slawson got up over 220 pounds, now he's down to 208 pounds. That falls on the responsibility of the athlete to take care of their bodies once you start the season. He worked really hard to build his body up, now he's got to become a more responsible athlete to keep that weight on and do that. I don't know. I see some of the greatest in the world sometimes cramp up. I don't think there's an exact science as to why or why not you cramp up. I don't know. At the end of the day it's three things: you have to rest, you have to hydrate and you have to put nutrients in the body. That's a responsibility that athletes have to embrace and accept. You have to sleep. I'm not insinuating that they didn't sleep and hydrate, but I'm just saying, that's all you can do. Our practices are hard. We go and neither one has cramped up in a minute of practice. That was a little surprising.

On RJ Slawson's play...
He was okay. Here's the transition that RJ is making, he's been asked to play facing the basket, shoot 3s. He needs to understand how to play closer to the rim. He's going through that process and transition. It's something that he can be good at. He's working, like all the guys, they're going to get better. Here's the difference between the upperclassmen and the freshmen. The freshmen are learning what I'm telling them to do for the first time. The upperclassmen are learning also, but they've been trained to play a different way. It's going to take time to change the comfort zone of what you used to play what you've been asked to play.

On the 2013 signing class...
I'm ecstatic. My hat is off to our assistant coaches. Since the day we got here, they've been able to do so much legwork with kids in the area and the people and the coaches in the area that has given us a chance to be trusted by them. Later on today, we'll probably put something out. We will specifically address the people who have decided to join our family here. We're excited. We're excited about what's in front of us. We're excited about the conversations we're having and what we're being told is going to take place today. Like always, keep your fingers crossed. You never know until it's done.

On his staff's progress in recruiting...
I don't know if you ever catch up in recruiting. It's a daily grind, it's a daily fight, but that's what's fun about it. At the age of 19, I was working at a bank. That was so boring to me because it was the same thing everyday, the same people, the same thing, the same problem. Recruiting is a beautiful animal. It keeps you in suspense. You're always trying to figure out who's the next relationship that you need to build that is going to help you in the world of recruiting. You get to meet people. Some guys you don't sign, but because you get to know them, you become a fan of theirs for a long time. That's what it's all about. It's about people. That's what recruiting should be all about. We had to sign so many guys for this class that started right now that I was worried we would fall behind in our 13s. I can't say enough about my assistant coaches. Let me give a little credit to the guys who were here before us. They did a pretty good job of selling this program and this university to the local recruits.

On Friday's opponent, Morgan State...
They're big and they're very athletic. Their best player, or at least who we perceive to be their best player, hasn't played yet. A young man by the name of Christian Kabongo, a transfer from New Mexico State. They are good. They have a young man on their team named Anthony Hubbard who we recruited at K-State. We know plenty about him. He's a relentless rebounder. They are long and athletic. Where Milwaukee tried to space you and play through their motion in sets to get shots, Morgan State more attacks you and pressures your defense off the dribble. I don't think their bigs shoot the ball nearly as well as the bigs from Milwaukee, but they rebound. They average 40 rebounds a game. I preach rebounding and 40 rebounds a game is a whole lot of rebounds.



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