As a fan of a college basketball team that has not won much in the past, and who recently only seven years ago was the worst team in the SEC and one of the worst in the nation. The men’s basketball team for the University of South Carolina is not a powerhouse like Kentucky or Duke. The Gamecocks have not been successful as a program for the last few decades. Since the beginning of the century, the program has made it to the big dance twice, including last year when Coach Martin guided the program to its first-ever Final Four appearance. With the Final Four run, many fans have high expectations for a team that lost almost 75% of the scoring from a year ago, with PJ Dozier, Sindarius Thornwell, and Duane Notice all either graduating or going pro.
I will admit that I did have super high expectations for this team going into the season, but then I remembered that Coach Martin is basically starting over with the team with 8 new players coming in. People honestly need to realize that this team will not be perfect, they may struggle at times like they did when they only beat Coastal Carolina by 2. Today, I read a tweet from a supposed Gamecock fan, who was complaining about why should she waste her money to go watch them barely beat a team like Coastal when she could watch it straight from home. Even though she does have a right to speak her mind, she doesn’t seem to understand that this team is not perfect, this team is not like Kentucky or Duke, who you can almost guarantee to go beat a lower D1 school by almost double digits.
Everyone needs to be patient with the team. What’s impressive is that Coach Martin has led this team to an 8-2 record with 8 new players. Few coaches can succeed with that many new players outside of Coach Cal, Coach K, and some of the other big program leading coaches. The only person that can truly say anything is Coach Martin himself when he called out the fans for not packing Colonial Life. Outside of Coach Martin and anyone who is in the program, no one can say anything about this team. As fans, we need to just support the team through the good and the bad, and just because they did get to the Final Four a year ago, it does not guarantee a return trip back, it doesn’t guarantee another trip back to the tournament in general.
As fans, we need to enjoy the good times while they are here because we do not know if the team will fall back to its old self of being bad or mediocre at best. Look at how the football program went. They had three straight years of 11 wins and were one of the best teams in the nations and then the bottom fell out and they started to decline. Yes, the basketball is having the best run in the history of the program, but we must remember that nothing lasts forever and at some point, the team will decline.
In my opinion, if you do not like how the team is performing, then change teams, be a bandwagon fan for a powerhouse team. No team needs a fan that would rather watch their team from afar than go support their team in person. As a fan, yes you go for the game and hope your team wins, but many fans also go for the experience of being at the game and enjoy being there with friends or family. whichever team wins, their fans shouldn’t leave the game mad that they won only by single digits to a lower tier school. You can’t beat every team by double digits. Fans need to be happy that their team won. A fan mad that their team won by a smaller amount than they expected is like being mad at a traffic jam outside of rush hour. It happens, but you can’t do anything about it.