COLUMBIA — New South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin will bring his entire assistant coaching staff with him from Kansas State, according to Mike Boynton, who was an assistant under former USC coach Darrin Horn.
USC has not released any information about Martin’s assistants, but Boynton told WXBT 560-AM on Tuesday that he, Neill Berry and Cypheus Bunton would not be retained. When Martin was hired last Tuesday, he said he planned to immediately meet with Horn’s assistants. All three were members of Horn’s staff for his entire four-year tenure.
If any of them were going to be retained by Martin, Boynton seemed the most likely candidate, as he signed USC’s only recruit in the class of 2012: power forward Tyrone Haughton of Miami. Boynton played at USC from 2001-04.
Martin’s three assistants at Kansas State were Brad Underwood (his associate head coach and top assistant), Matt Figger (his recruiting coordinator) and Lamont Evans.
Underwood was the director of basketball operations in 2006-07, coach Bob Huggins’ lone year at Kansas State, and was then promoted by Martin when he replaced Huggins. Underwood was previously the head coach at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College for three seasons and an assistant at Western Illinois for 10 seasons.
Figger was hired by Martin in his first season after spending five years as an assistant at South Alabama. Before that, he was a junior college assistant for 10 years.
Evans debuted as an assistant at Kansas State last season after spending the previous three as an undergraduate and graduate student manager. He played two years at junior colleges, including one in Florida, and then played at Drake from 1999-2001. He played seven years professionally, primarily overseas. Evans graduated from Kansas State in 2009.
The staff’s junior college connections could help Martin fill out his roster for next season. Even with Haughton coming, the Gamecocks are currently three scholarships shy of the NCAA maximum of 13, because point guard Bruce Ellington has decided to play both football and basketball for the second straight year and will once again be on a football scholarship.
Martin recruited junior colleges extensively — including those in Florida, where he grew up — during his time at Kansas State, which hired recently dismissed Illinois coach Bruce Weber to replace him.