02 April 2013

Can Andy Enfield build the USC basketball program?

Without question, one of the more disappointing and underachieving programs in college basketball is the one at the University of Southern California. The Trojans have to live in the shadow of the more famous program over in Westwood but you would think a program in the talent-rich region of Southern California would have more success than it has had. But now that is in the hands of new coach Andy Enfield, who was just hired away from taking the nation by storm by leading Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet Sixteen. Can he be the guy to take the program to the next step?

This hire certainly comes with risk. After all, Enfield has only been a head coach for a couple of seasons at a small program like FGCU, which is a long way from USC in terms of stature, and you wonder if he caught lightning in a bottle once. Also, Enfield does not appear to have any ties to Southern California, so you wonder if that could play a role in recruiting.

However, I really like this hire. It was the right time for Enfield to leave Fort Myers, because that program will probably never be at a higher point. Also, look at the coach UCLA hired, Steve Alford. Despite what AD Dan Guerrero said, Alford does not play a particularly fast style and we all know the style Enfield loves to run, after all they only called FGCU "Dunk City" after its high-flying style captivated the country as they ran all over Georgetown and San Diego State, so that will only help in recruiting and it draws a clear contrast. Enfield also has the reputation from his time at Florida State as a strong recruiter and he has also worked in the NBA. And that model wife of his will fit in well in Los Angeles.

Now it will not be an easy job for Enfield to go from FGCU to USC, but I do think he has the ability to make it work as he should inject some fun basketball into a program that needs it. But time will tell if the high-flying theatrics will turn into wins and tournament runs.

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