8:17 PM EDT, April 2, 2013
He has credentials
USC is not bereft of basketball tradition and potential. Five coaches have guided the Trojans to multiple NCAA tournaments, most recently Henry Bibby and Tim Floyd (three each).
Bibby had USC within a game of the 2001 Final Four before losing to eventual national champion Duke. So if Andy Enfield is as good as advertised, the Trojans should be perennial contenders in the Pacific-12, which has produced all of two national champions (UCLA 1995, Arizona '97) in the last 38 years.
Enfield's credentials extend beyond Florida Gulf Coast's implausible run and entertaining style. He worked as an NBA assistant and at Florida State and remains well-respected in both worlds. His most scrutinized job starts now.
USC has nothing to lose
Los Angeles Times
It was a terrific, creative hire for a school that really had nothing to lose.
UCLA should have considered Andy Enfield for its vacancy, but a school with 11 NCAA titles apparently couldn't hire a coach from FGCU.
UCLA "settled" for a name coach, Steve Alford, who may work out fine. Alford hasn't taken a team to the Sweet 16 this century, though, while Enfield took one there last week. USC is getting the up-tempo, "Dunk City" coach UCLA said it was looking to hire to fill renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Enfield is a good coach with a background as a shooting instructor. I think Enfield can make USC competitive again in a Pac-12 conference with several good but not dominant programs.
Has a lot to prove
The most recent controversy was that a less-qualified Steve Alford was taking over for the more-accomplished Ben Howland at UCLA.
The what-have-you-done-for-me-lately scenario can work to a coach's advantage too. The trendiest coach in America was Florida Gulf Coast's Andy Enfield, who parlayed a hot tournament run in a year of obvious college basketball parity into a job at USC.
Enfield could continue his magic with the Trojans in the Pac-12. Every successful coach got a shot somewhere along the way, and Enfield may use this to win at a major level. But a few March Madness victories are not enough to know if he is the right man to take USC to the top of the Pac-12.
He has momentum
Iliana Limón Romero
It's impossible to say exactly how successful a coach can be in a new environment, but momentum certainly is on Andy Enfield's side.
Enfield has proved he can convince people to buy into a great new thing. Long before his Florida Gulf Coast team vaulted into the national spotlight, Enfield convinced recruits to take a chance on the unknown school. Then he turned those same recruits loose in his up-tempo attack.
One of the clearest signs Enfield did things the right way at Florida Gulf Coast came from one of his top players. Point guard Brett Comer, who orchestrated many of FGCU's high-flying NCAA tournament dunks, posted on Twitter, "I love coach Enfield to the end. ... #GoodLuckAtUSC."
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