By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Frank Martin was proud how his young team persevered through a difficult season. He hopes they bring a similar approach to the offseason as they try and take the next step forward in Southeastern Conference.
The Gamecocks finished 14-20 for their second straight losing season under Martin, but went 6-5 in their final 11 games, including a victory over national runner-up Kentucky in February. Martin says it's up to his players, seven of whom were freshmen this season, to hit the weight room hard this summer and improve their strength and conditioning before fall.
Martin recalled in his wrap-up meeting with freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell that the 13.4-point a game scorer didn't count on college ball being as hard as it was this winter.
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