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Horn Out At Carolina; Marshall Already Mentioned As A Candidate

So much for the whispers that Darrin Horn would survive at South Carolina.  The school has fired the coach after four seasons.

In the end, not even the decision by Bruce Ellington to become a hoops-only player could save Horn from his overall record in Columbia (60-63), the horrible season that just ended (the Cocks’ 21 losses tied a school record for futility), and dwindling fan support.

Athletic director Eric Hyman has scheduled a news conference for 1:30pm ET today.  By firing the coach now — and not waiting until April 1st as some had suggested — Hyman will have to hand over a $2.4 million buyout to Horn, rather than $1.6 million.  But as we wrote last week, what’s $800,000 bucks to an SEC school that’s raking in more than $20 million per year?

The State in Columbia is already naming potential replacements
as Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall — a Palmetto State native — and current Duke assistant Jeff Capel.  The paper reports that Hyman went after Capel — who was fired last spring from Oklahoma after five seasons — before hiring Horn four years ago.

Consider Marshall to be the fan favorite.  He took Winthrop to the NCAA Tournament in seven of nine seasons at the school.  His Wichita State program has gone from no tourney to the CBI to the NIT and now to the NCAAs in his five seasons in Kansas.  The Shockers — a #5 seed — will face VCU and “hot name” coach Shaka Smart in their opening game on Thursday.

Early last week, most in Columbia believed Horn would be retained.  But as the week wore on — and as Carolina nosedived out of the SEC Tournament — murmurs increased that Hyman might pull the trigger on his coach.  We were told by a source as recently as yesterday evening that they believed Horn would “barely” survive. 

Not so.


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