Cloninger Soundoff: USC in stay-afloat mode

Posted by DAVID CLONINGER on December 19, 2013 

Dec 19, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Brenton Williams (1) shoots over USC Upstate Spartans forward Ricardo Glenn (12) in the second half at The Colonial Life Arena.

JEFF BLAKE — USA TODAY Sports

I never thought I’d say it, because I never believed I’d have to say it.

I do now.

It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Frank Martin pointed out that winning is hard. Just because he gets guys that have won in high school (Justin McKie didn’t lose a game his senior season), that doesn’t mean they’ll win games in college, even “guarantee” games that require paying opponents to come to Columbia. I knew that.

I knew South Carolina was going to struggle this year, but figured that they’d win the games they were supposed to win.

They have not.

The youth doesn’t know how to handle teams continuing to run at them until the final buzzer. USC has a lot of growing up to do, and if it didn’t get a handle on it when it had a stretch of two games in a full month, it’s hard to see how it’s going to happen when there are two to three games every week.

The Gamecocks are simply trying to stay afloat after losing their second straight home game to a mid-major, before they play three games in four days in Hawaii. Martin was upbeat, saying he knew what he signed on for, but the losing isn’t comfortable. There’s no Michael Beasley walking through that door, either.

All he can do, is all he can do — show up for the next practice and try to teach what the Gamecocks aren’t doing, one step at a time. They only can improve.

Although waiting for it might test everyone’s patience.

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