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It appears the program has now, finally, recovered from the Mayo - Garrett fiasco

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  • It appears the program has now, finally, recovered from the Mayo - Garrett fiasco

    Winding the clock back a decade and a half, after taking USC to the Sweet 16 in his second season as head coach -- in large part because of players recruited under the prior regime -- Tim Floyd followed that up with the No. 1 recruit in his class, OJ Mayo, a 11-7 conference record and a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournmanet, if a first round exit from the Tournament, and then a conference tournament championship and two tough NCAA games, after a disappointing regular season.

    But in three seasons, Tim Floyd had delivered a Sweet 16, a 5-seed in the Tournament, and Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship, together with 3 NCAA Tourney wins. What's more, Tim Floyd had Nikola Vucevic on the roster, along with a couple veteran returning starters, and had eventual national player of the year Derrick Williams signed, and was poised to sign Renardo Sydney.

    What happened next is a matter of sad, historical record: guys named Louis Johnson and Rodney Guillory; Mike Garrett turning on Tim Floyd after taking a trip Tucson to inquire about the UofA job, and the whole thing imploding. It wasn't the season of probation SC was facing; if SC had kept Floyd and his class, he still would have had a team with junior Nikola Vucevic and sophomore Derrick Williams. (He also would have had Solomon Hill if he hadn't decided to chase Sidney.)

    The coup de grâce was Mike Garrett balking at Lon Kruger's reasonable salary demands and hiring perhaps the most decisive coach in basketball: Kevin O'Neill.

    It was a disaster, and O'Neill destroyed the program. in the four seasons from 2011-12 through 2014-15, USC finished dead last in the Pac-12 three times.

    It was the worst stretch in USC history.

    By the time Andy Enfield finally brought the program back to respectability, he had put together five solid seasons, where SC finished around .500 in the conference most years, made the NCAA Tournament twice (and would have made it three times, but for covid), and had overall elevated USC to one of the top four or five programs in the conference. Being top four or five is not that far off from where Tim Floyd had USC; but the key difference was the perceived discrepancy in quality of the conference. Back in the Floyd era, the conference was full of NBA Hall of Famers and All-Stars.

    But a combination of factors seems to have fundamentally changed things: USC finished with the most wins in conference play, SC made the Sweet 16, and the Pac-12 has gone long way in restoring its reputation.

    Even if USC loses to Oregon on Sunday, the foundation for a nationally prominent program is in place. Enfield has a track record of success not only in winning games, but in producing NBA talent. He's also demonstrated he can succeed with transfers from smaller programs.

  • #2
    Excellent post as always. However, I would not be surprised if Enfield moves on after this season. His success this year is probably a high point at SC, and his stock is rising. His contract is through 2023, so not a lot of buyout. SC just agreed to pay a $1.1 billion civil settlement yesterday. Not sure they are willing to spend what it will take. Please tell me I'm wrong.


    • #3
      I would be very surprised if Enfield doesn’t use open jobs to improve his pay at SC. I would also be very surprised if he moved on. I don’t think Amanda is interested in moving to Norman.


      • #4
        Heard from a good source that it would take a lot for him to leave...his wife loves Manhattan Beach and the school system...


        • #5
          Let’s just hope that after Sunday, people will see that Andy should be at USC for many more years to come.

          I want the Trojans to beat the ducks so bad, living in duck town will be so much better after a huge win.