Gamecocks feeling more confident ahead of Alabama game
The South Carolina men's basketball season has been filled with ups and downs. Head coach Frank Martin publicly stated how disappointed he was in the team's practices and leadership after the team's loss to Missouri in their home SEC opener last week, but said on Tuesday that things are starting to turn around for the team after they beat Vanderbilt on Saturday.
"We didn't play great against Vandy, but we had the spirit you need to win which we had at Ole Miss," Martin said. "I'm hoping that our guys learned a valuable lesson for leadership and for preparation for the young guys."
Star forward Chris Silva echoed Martin in saying the locker room has been much more upbeat over the past few days.
"We kind of lost our emotion after the Clemson loss," Silva said. "I think he did a really good job in bringing us back and we're just trying to feed off that and be positive."
One player Gamecock fans can focus more on is guard Evan Hinson, who also plays for the South Carolina football team. Hinson was a part of the Gamecocks' big Outback Bowl victory, but said getting back into the basketball swing presents its challenges.
"Football you run and then stop," Hinson said. "Basketball, you keep running up and down and up and down and up and down... that's probably the biggest transition."
Now, South Carolina prepares to go on the road this week against Alabama and Georgia. On Tuesday night, they will take on the Crimson Tide... a team that beat them in a quadruple overtime thriller last year and knocked them out of the 2017 SEC tournament.
"Both teams were very, very similar," Martin said. "Our team's different this year... there's is different. Their guards are a lot more explosive from a scoring standpoint, but they're also freshman. They're not as big and strong as last year's guards were."
Martin also joked about having to play Alabama and Georgia the same week the two team's football programs are playing each other in the national championship.
"Who did we piss off?" Martin joked. "We're gonna go into one building, and they're gonna be holding up the trophy at halftime and the place is gonna be bonkers."
South Carolina and Alabama are set to tip-off on Tuesday, January 9th at 7 pm.