COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The USC basketball team tips off SEC play Saturday.
Before the Gamecocks hit the court against the Vanderbilt Commodores, Head Coach Darrin Horn spoke with WIS' Rick Henry.
From day one, Coach Horn has talked about building a program. That process continues this year with a roster that is one of the nation's youngest.
His young team has been good enough to snap a six game losing streak to arch rival Clemson. They've also been bad enough to suffer the program's first loss to Furman in 30 years. The inconsistency is a by-product of a roster that has six true freshmen.
"Well, they're the kind of things that as a coach, they drive you nuts because you know what you're capable of," said Coach Horn, "I think the challenge is again, that's what you see as different between youth and veteran. A veteran understands you have to come out and do that every night."
Horn knows the loss to Furman has some Gamecock fans wondering what's wrong. "When things go bad in a microwave society, when you're not as good as you want to be, sure there's a lot of chatter and a lot of things being said that young people hear," he explained, "But part of that too is young guys maturing and understanding the difference of controlling what you can control."
What the Gamecocks can control is how they approach each game, and for team coached by Horn, that means playing hard from beginning to end. "We've been trying to help our young guys understand that if you play hard and compete every night - if you defend and you rebound - the rest of it's little basketball stuff," he continued, "We're going to get better at that. We're going to grow. We're going to understand things better. How to execute. How to read things, but you can play hard and compete and defend and rebound every single night."
WIS will air the second part of Henry's interview with Coach Horn Friday where he'll talk about how the titles won by the USC baseball and football teams serve as an inspiration to his squad.