COLUMBIA, S.C. — Will Muschamp couldn’t believe it when he learned how long it had been since the South Carolina basketball team last won an NCAA Tournament game.
It was a while — 44 years to the day, to be exact.
The Gamecocks men’s basketball team snapped the drought when it beat Marquette on Friday night in opening round play of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville, S.C.
“I was in shock when (athletics director Ray) Tanner told me that, because I know we’ve had some really good basketball teams here, some good coaches,” Muschamp said.
The South Carolina football coach opened his press conference on Saturday, congratulating men’s basketball coach Frank Martin, along with the women’s squad and baseball team, both of which also won on Friday.
“Really happy for Frank,” Muschamp said. “Certainly, in my opinion, it’s expected, as far as where they are with their program. Extremely, extremely happy for him.
“I think the world of the guy and the job he does and what he represents and how he represents the University of South Carolina. I’m certainly pulling for him on Sunday (vs. Duke).”
Muschamp then took a friendly jab at Martin, who also has freshman tight end Evan Hinson on his roster.
“Hinson, I’m going to continue to recruit for Frank. I coached him for those first two shots in the SEC Tournament against Alabama,” Muschamp said. “Frank coached him on the air ball.”
Hinson isn’t the only player on Martin’s team who Muschamp said could play football.
“There’s no doubt,” Muschamp said, when asked if shooting guard Duane Notice profiles as a safety.
“(Rakym) Felder could play corner,” Muschamp added. “I could outfit a team.”
The South Carolina men’s basketball team faces the Blue Devils on Sunday night (8:40 p.m. ET, TNT). Muschamp, whose team has practice on Monday morning, will try to travel to Greenville for the game.
“Right now, we’ve been so busy. We’ve gone three days in a row, purposely for me to push our guys through it,” Muschamp said. “Thursday was a very physical day. Friday was more of a loose downs, 1-minute, situational — third-down. Today was a very physical day. I thought we needed that. We need to grind through that. I appreciate how our guys responded.”