COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Frank Martin met with reporters after the Gamecocks 57-53 win over Florida on Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve their season record to 14-3 (4-0 SEC).
- Opening: “Real good win. Real good win. They’re real good. I was watching them on film and I had no idea how we were going to score. None. I was hoping we would be effective with our defense and create some open-court opportunities. We guarded them, but just could never get to the open-court. We were in foul trouble, both teams were in foul trouble … real proud of our guys. The young guys made some mistakes, but they showed so much courage. … Coming down the stretch, P.J. (Dozier) and Sin (Thornwell) made some plays for us to win.”
- End of the first half, start of the second: “We didn’t want their 3-point shooting to kick in … that was something that was an issue for them last year and they’ve addressed that. … Our bigs did not do a good job on ball-screen defense today. There were some missed coverages, missed communications. … We gave them some open-court opportunities. They’re too good in the open-court.”
- National perception: “The national guys think we’re good. It’s the other people that don’t want to believe in what we’re doing. The national guys wear my phone out. … They know we’re good. That’s why we’re ranked, but we can’t worry about all that stuff. I’ve got to worry about our guys playing that hard every day. We’ve got to play better offense. Now that we have 18,000 friends, we have a responsibility factor to not let them down.”
- The crowd: “Our students answered the bell. I said it … we need our students there early and loud and to go absolutely bonkers. They did it. They were early, they were loud and they didn’t disengage from the game. … The crowd was great. Students bring life into your building, then people my age get excited, because we play hard.”
- Overcoming early turnover trouble: “I thought we were too passive, early in the first half. It started with the turnovers. … They’re long and athletic and they switch. It puts unbelievable pressure on their players making the right reads. They hope you get passive and settle for jump shots That’s what we did in the first half.”