We haven’t heard much from fiery coach Frank Martin this season, his first at South Carolina. That’s largely because the Gamecocks suck, thus eliminating any reason to pay him much heed.
But on Thursday night we finally got some vintage Martin intensity precisely BECAUSE the Gamecocks suck. Following South Carolina’s 64-46 home loss to LSU, Martin delivered a press conference rant that was on a Jim Mora “Diddily Poo” level — only possibly even better, because he managed to fit in some Matt Foley-style motivational tactics to the rant.
Here’s a link to the whole thing. We’ve provided you with the best excerpts below.
MARTIN (possibly chewing on a Jolly Rancher): Ummm… I hadn’t seen the stats. Unbelievable. If you take Bruce Ellington off our team, you probably have 12 leading candidates for the Walking – what’s that movie called? – the Return of the Living Dead. The zombie movie. If you took Bruce off our team, our guys would probably win an Academy for their performance in that movie.
I’ve been doing this for 28 years, nine of which was a junior varsity high school coach. That means I dealt with 14-year-olds. I’ve never been more embarrassed to call myself a basketball coach than I am today.
(Reporter asks question)
If this were the NBA, we’d take their money. We’d fine ’em. We’d release ’em and say “Good luck finding another job.” It’s not the NBA. We’re in education. So somehow, some way we’ve got to reach ’em… No matter what your walk of life is, if you don’t have the word pride in your vocabulary, you’ve got no chance of sniffing success. I’m a lot of things. But I’ve got pride. I’m doing this right now out of respect to you and your jobs and it’s part of my job. But right now I’m so embarrassed. If this is the way my team plays, I should never coach basketball again.
We lead the country in airball layups. If you can’t make layups, it’s hard to win.
My assistant coach said right before the game, “I don’t like what’s going on right now. The locker room’s a morgue.” And that’s exactly what it was. If you’ve got no life for what you do, then you shouldn’t do it. If you have no passion for what you do, you shouldn’t do it. Right now we’re lifeless.
You control who you are every day in life. If you walk around with your head down and your shoulders down, then you’ve got no chance at what you’re doing.
You can’t expect 18- and 19-year olds to figure that out. Us guys that have been around, it’s our job to help them through it.
REPORTER: Do you think you’ve lost these guys?
MARTIN: If I’ve lost them, then they better disappear, because it’s going to be hard for them to be here next year if I’ve lost them 10 months into the job.