COLUMBIA — It seemed unlikely when it was reported Thursday.
It was a definite no by Friday afternoon.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin, said by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman to be a key target in the Cincinnati coaching search, will not speak with the school about its coaching vacancy.
“I thought about it, because of (former coach Bob Huggins) and my time there, but I love my boss and South Carolina,” Martin told Goodman. “So I have decided not to meet with them.”
Martin is due to make $3 million at USC next season and would owe USC $1 million if he were to leave. The Bearcats were paying $2.2 million to former coach Mick Cronin, who was hired at UCLA last week.
Martin was a Cincinnati assistant for a season under Huggins and a season under interim coach Andy Kennedy before following Huggins to Kansas State. The Bearcats hired Cronin after Martin’s last year.
While the Gamecocks have missed the last two postseasons following the 2017 Final Four, Martin’s next squad has a lot of returning talent, led by A.J. Lawson, Keyshawn Bryant and Justin Minaya. He has taken USC to one NIT and one NCAA tournament in seven years, while finishing in the top four of the SEC in three of the last four seasons.