USC's Martin vows to focus more on own players

Days after blaming himself for his team's recent struggles, USC head coach Frank Martin promises a greater focus on his players.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Just days after making a cryptic statement blaming himself for his team's recent struggles, USC head basketball coach Frank Martin is explaining himself.

On Monday, Martin continued to say he is the reason his team hasn't been well-prepared in their last two losses, vowed to put more a focus on his players. Two days earlier, Martin simply said his coaching staff had been on him about doing his job better, but declined to explain what he meant.

On Monday, Martin divulged what he was talking about, saying questions about his performance are fair game.

"We had been playing so good that I go wrapped up with the other team more than our own team," said Martin. "I'm asking our guys to fight every single day for the culture we're trying to build. Well, they've never done that. And for me to expect them to do that on their own right now is not fair to them if I don't pay attention to detail."

In the last week, South Carolina has come up short in two lopsided losses, including Saturday's 67-56 loss to Georgia and last week's 75-36 loss at No. 4 Florida, an all-time scoring low for the Gamecocks in SEC play.

Martin says his team lacked desire and discipline in both losses because he had been pleased by their strong play in previous games, including a 20-point blowout of Arkansas, and he somehow lost focus, took his foot of the gas, and expected his players to push through to the next level on their own.

"If I don't hold them accountable, if I don't fight for it every day, I can't expect them to do it themselves," said Martin.

South Carolina (12-9, 2-6 SEC) is back in action Tuesday when the team heads to Rupp Arena for a primetime, nationally-televised game with Kentucky. The Gamecocks have only won twice at Rupp Arena.