USC head men's basketball coach Frank Martin joked that in hindsight, it may not be the best way to open the season - on the road at Wofford in the Terrriers' new arena.
"I haven't had a drink in 11 years, I'm telling you I think there's a bottle of Scotch with my name on it at my house right now," Martin joked.
Actually, Martin wants this challenge for his team. The Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium seats 3,400 for basketball games and the first one ever will no doubt likely exceed that capacity as Wofford will have a sellout crowd to welcome the Gamecocks. Martin graciously accepted the invitation of his good friend and Wofford head coach Mike Young to be the first basketball opponent in the new facility. Martin says he was glad to do it because he knows it will help grow the game of basketball.
"I'm all for growing basketball," Martin said.
"Probably, about a year ago, Mike Young - who's a friend. I've got an unbelievable amount of respect for him. He's one of the great human beings in our business. Him, Eddie Fogler and I all share a very good friendship. We entered into a conversation of 'Hey, would you consider doing this?'. I wasn't going to say no to Mike. You know Mr. Richardson has made a commitment to build them a state of the art facility. Mike's worked his tail off to build an unbelievable program there at Wofford. It'd be pretty selfish on my part if I didn't sign up to do this - to show our state and the entire country what a really good basketball coach Mike Young is."
Martin knows what his team will be walking into Friday night. The Terriers would love to go 1-0 in the new building by knocking off a Final Four team from last season. But that's why Martin signed up for it - to challenge his team right out of the gates.
"It's going to be a great challenge," Martin said.
"I'm sure it will be a crazy atmosphere in that building. All those things make us better."
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