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Thursday, February 21, 2013
3-point shot: A more mellow Frank Martin?

By Andy Katz

1. Frank Martin has weathered the storm of a six-game losing streak and a bit of a media meltdown in breaking down the ineptitude of the Gamecocks last week. Martin's demeanor during South Carolina's upset win over Ole Miss on Wednesday night in Columbia was reserved for him. He sat for most of the game. He didn't need to yell as the Gamecocks came up with defensive stops, blocked shots and forced Ole Miss into poor rushed possessions. This isn't necessarily a mellow Martin compared to his intense stare-downs and animated sideline behavior at Kansas State. But he clearly has seen this is a complete overhaul at South Carolina and has to show some patience as long as the effort is in place and the execution follows the instructions. This is exactly what occurred in the final five minutes against the Rebels. In spending the evening in Columbia, I got the sense that there is a real belief that Martin will turn the Gamecocks around. And he should. The SEC is probably the best conference right now for upward mobility because so many programs are struggling to find consistency.

2. If the ACC wants to take full advantage of adding Syracuse in 2013-14 then it should guarantee at least Duke or North Carolina once a season at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has already announced a 35,012 crowd for Saturday's game against Georgetown. That will be the 17th time the Orange have had 30,000-plus for a Georgetown game, the most of any other opponent. Syracuse is losing Georgetown as a conference opponent after this season. Three of the top eight 30,000-plus crowds at the Carrier Dome are eventually going with Syracuse to the ACC in Pitt (7), Notre Dame (6) and Louisville (4). The 35,012 fans coming for Saturday's game against Georgetown is yet another reminder of the Big East breaking up and what the Northeast college basketball fan will be missing.

3. Old Dominion is expected to have an interest in former Georgia coach Dennis Felton as a potential prime candidate for the open head coaching position after athletic director Wood Selig fired Blaine Taylor. Felton worked for Selig at Western Kentucky. Felton worked five-plus seasons at Georgia before being fired in the middle of the SEC season in 2009. Felton coached the Bulldogs to an SEC tournament title, recruited well and got Georgia through a post-probationary period. ODU, which is currently led by interim coach Jim Corrigan, is going to end up being one of the best jobs in Conference USA when the Monarchs move next season. The Monarchs beat UNC Wilmington 84-61 Wednesday night for their only second win of the conference season and fourth overall.