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Gamecocks coach Frank Martin backed by players


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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina freshman Sindarius Thornwell says those complaining about Frank Martin's sideline behavior don't understand the coach. He adds the players wouldn't have anyone else leading the Gamecocks.

Martin was suspended one game by the school for harsh language aimed at guard Duane Notice in a loss to top-ranked Florida last week. Assistant Matt Figger led the Gamecocks to a 74-62 win at Mississippi State on Saturday. Martin attended his 8-year-old daughter's cheerleading competition in Tennessee.

Thornwell said Martin's cursing is not demeaning, but how he demonstrates passion. Thornwell has had similar coaches, and he chose South Carolina because of Martin's intensity.

Martin will be in charge Wednesday when South Carolina (12-19) opens Southeastern Conference tournament play against Auburn (14-15).

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PETE IACOBELLI

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