Last night, South Carolina’s leading scorer and rebounder returned from his suspension for the Gamecock’s SEC opener against Georgia. Sindarius came back in a big way with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and most importantly, 1 win.
Cocks basketball was 7-0 to start the season with wins over Syracuse and Michigan before Sindarius was suspended. However, during his absence the Gamecocks went 3-3 and struggled to score the basketball. The one positive that happened during Sin’s suspension is that P.J. Dozier broke out as the offensive star we all hoped he could be. That showed last night when the two combined for 2/3 of the Gamecocks 67 points.
However, my favorite part of the night was Frank Martin’s quote, defending his decision to suspend Sindarius for six games.
“My biggest job at the end of the day is to prepare them to become men. You gotta hold them accountable. If you ever make them think that winning a game is more important than making the right decisions, you’re failing the people that believe in you.”
Now I’m not saying Frank Martin was “definitely” referencing Grayson Allen’s “indefinite” suspension, which only lasted one game, but Frank’s words do hit hard coming the same night as Grayson Allen’s return to the court. Frank Martin has always been viewed as a disciplinarian, but above all else, fair. In my years as a sports fan I don’t know if I have ever seen a coach genuinely care about his players more than Frank Martin. I’m not going to argue that Frank Martin is a better basketball coach than Coach K because that is just not true. But, if I had a son, I would want him to play for a man like Frank Martin.
He realizes that 6 missed games in Sindarius’ senior season will have more of a positive effect, than it does negative. The 3 losses the Gamecocks took are menial compared to the lesson Sindarius has hopefully learned from this. This growth in maturity may prove to be monumental for the Gamecocks come postseason time.
Welcome back, Sin.