In the clinical tone of a pathologist explaining the results of an autopsy, South Carolina coach Frank Martin dissected what was wrong with his team.
Not once did Martin raise his voice or allow his infamous temper to flare Thursday night during a news conference after the Gamecocks lost 64-46 at home to an LSU team that isn't especially good. Instead the first-year South Carolina coach calmly yet bluntly questioned his team's leadership, character and passion for basketball after the Gamecocks (12-12, 2-9) lost for the fifth straight time to fall into a last-place tie in the SEC.
Here's a look at Martin's five most memorable quotes from Thursday night. Yes, some of them are brutal, but you'd be displeased too if your team shot 28.1 percent from the field against LSU, missed 16 of 19 3-pointers and surrendered 30 points on 13 of 19 shooting from forward Johnny O'Bryant.
1. "I've been doing this for 28 years, nine of which were as 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."
2. "If you take Bruce Ellington off our team, you'd probably have the 12 leading candidates for starring roles in ... The Return of the Living Dead, the zombie movie. If you took Bruce off our team, our guys would probably win Academy Awards for their performance in that movie."
3. "If this was the NBA, we'd fine them, we'd take their money, we'd release them and we'd say good luck finding another job."
4. "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. ... I haven't lost Bruce, I'll tell you that. I haven't lost Michael Carrera, even though he's a freshman and he runs around with a chicken with his head cut off half the time and doesn't know what happening. But outside of those two guys, if I have lost them, they better figure out where home is at because obviously it's not going to be here."
5. We lead the country in airball layups. Guys can't make layups, it's hard to win. Open threes. You've got guys who are supposed to make open threes, and they never make an open three. It's hard to do.
6. I've been telling our team for three weeks that ... if the word pride is not in your vocabulary, you have no chance of ever sniffing success. I'm a lot of things, but I've got pride. I'm just telling you. I'm doing this right now out of respect to you and your jobs and because it's part of my job, but I have never been so embarrassed. I shouldn't coach basketball ever again if this is how my team plays.
7. You've heard me say this before: In life, you get what you deserve. You've got to invest yourself to be good, and we've got guys who don't comprehend that. They put in the time when I make them put in the time, but they don't put in the time for the love of the game. Until that changes, it ain't going to get any better.
8. If I had Jacob Pullen, Rodney McGruder, Denis Clemente, Brent Wright, Silver Robinson, Udonis Haslem, Steve Blake, Jose Mesu, Jamel Martinez, Allen Edwards, Steve Edwards, Doug Edwards ... if I had any of those guys on my team, then I'd have a guy I could trust on my team. Then we'd be alright tomorrow. Then again, I could tell you we wouldn't have played like we did today.
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