The best way to think about South Carolina basketball is "Dum Spiro Spero." The meaning of that saying, which is the State motto, is "While I breathe, I hope."
Let's dive into this after the jump...
Fitting when you think of the men's hoops program at South Carolina. A program that use to be the envy of the south, granted it was the ACC days, to where Coach Horn has this program. The same thing is being said after every loss by Coach Horn that he is "program building." I have a hard time understanding this comment of "program building" after watching games the last two years.
I don't want to give up on my mighty Gamecocks but the support is becoming harder to put forth given the performance of the product. Oh, and please don't tell me it is youth as this is Darrin Horn's fourth season and he should have "his guys" in place that are executing his gameplan.
Last night, the Gamecocks lost to Tennessee. Yeah they gave good effort but in basketball effort does not count for anything. The result was another loss for South Carolina by the score of 64-73.
USC is now 10-18, 2-12 in the Southeastern Conference, and with two regular season games remaining, the Gamecocks have no shot of equaling last year's 5-11 SEC record — one fewer win than the previous year. But in saying that, USC will at least finish tied for the SEC's worst conference record. Yes you read that right.
USC last had the league's worst record since 2006-07, when it went 4-12. The Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1991-92 and have never finished worse than 3-13. They last won two league games in 1985-86, when they went 2-10 in the Metro Conference.
Oh and as far as getting butts in the seats, Coach Horn and his product have gone from having 9,105 season tickets sold (Odom's last year) to 5,955 this season.
Wait, one more example....postseason play, which is not to be associated with USC currently. Do you realize the Gamecocks have not won a single game in the SEC Tournament under Darrin Horn and two of the three losses have been by double digits.
Under Darrin Horn, the Gamecocks have participated in one post-season tournament game. In 2009, the Gamecocks hosted Davidson (Southern Conference opponent) at the CLA in an opening round NIT game and lost 70-63. Horn’s predecessors, Fogler and Odom, had the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament by their fourth year.
So I ask, is this bottom?
As they say, you must truly hit bottom before you climb up the hill and get to where you want to be.
As long as my veins pump the garnet blood I bleed, I hope. I truly am hoping that USC basketball becomes respectable.
They don't have to beat Kentucky each year but they need to get to a point where they are above the fold and not bottom-dwellers. Again, being a respectable basketball team not where opposing fans are going ahead and checking off the box for a win when looking at the schedule to begin the year.
I got faith USC basketball. I know you can do it. I know you can recruit the players needed. I know you have the talent. I know the fans have the passion for you.
I ask for you to finish this season strong. Coach Horn, I ask that you begin to be honest and stop talking about "program building." Let's see some fire in your coaching and getting 110% out of players. Let see them make lay-ups. Miss them and make the run. I think you get the point as you are the responsible party here.
Again, "while I breath, I hope." I hope for USC basketball to reach new heights and join the other programs at the University of South Carolina in gaining national accolades due to winning.