They say you can’t judge a man by the woman he is with. I don’t know why, it would seem fairly reasonable to make assumptions about people based on the types of people they date. You wouldn’t be wrong to judge John Lennon by Yoko Ono or Abe Lincoln by Mary Todd, it’d go against the natural course of reasoning.
Southern Cal’s new coach, Andy Enfield, is judged almost entirely by the woman he is with. You cannot read an article or watch a game without his wife, Amanda Marcum, being featured prominently. And we, certainly I, have no problems with that.
Beyond all the recurrent “well, it’s obvious he can recruit (he he)” jokes, the fact that Enfield was somehow able to ensnare an actual model seemed to bolster his reputation as a basketball coach. It subconsciously, or maybe even wittingly, became a major selling point when his name was attached to various jobs after the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Despite a 41–28 overall record at Florida Gulf Coast, Enfield was thrust into the limelight thanks to an exciting brand of basketball that produced a Sweet Sixteen appearance for FGCU. As the underdog Eagles became the leading story of the tournament, so too did the Enfields. The media loved them and hence so did athletic directors across the nation.
If you look back at all the promotional pictures taken during USC’s announcement of Enfield’s acceptance, his wife is featured prominently throughout. Most of the time she is positioned front and center. It’s as if the Trojans were not only hiring Enfield, but his wife as well. The fact that Enfield’s wife is attractive seems to be as much of an indicator of success as a sailboat or an indictment from the SEC. It’s a slightly off-putting marketing ploy, but I can’t imagine a better place for it than Los Angeles.
Now I’m not proclaiming Enfield isn’t a promising coach worthy of the million-dollar contract Southern Cal has offered him. We simply don’t know have enough of a record to even hazard a guess at this point. He seems like a solid recruiter and the type of personality that fans and alumni will rally around. I will say this though, the last time USC hired an over-hyped coach with a hot wife? It ended terribly.
USC is coming off a tough one-point loss at Long Beach State which indicates that the Trojans are a fairly harmless basketball team. Southern Cal checks in with a 7-4 record, the program’s best start to a season since 2010. There’s nothing on USC’s resume to indicate they are anything more than a middling PAC12 team, the Trojans were picked 11th in the conference’s preseason poll, but they are certainly more than capable of beating the Gem City Cagers.
Andy Enfield’s squad is not a particularly adept perimeter shooting team, and the Trojans play at a fairly rapid pace that will play to UD’s strengths. Two areas that USC excels in: perimeter defense and rebounding. Southern Cal is pulling down around forty boards per game and holding opponents to just 30% from behind the arc. They have a tendency to turn the ball over yet still average a stellar fifteen assists per contest. The Trojans are currently #283 nationally in foul-shooting, hitting just 65.7% of their attempts so far this year.
Meet and Greet
The Trojans feature a three-guard attack led by Byron Wesley (15.9 ppg/6.9 rpg) and Pe’Shon Howard (11.9 ppg/4.0 apg). Wesley is a determined penetrator, aren’t we all, and at just 6’5″ is the team’s leading rebounder. Howard is a transfer from Maryland who never really lived up to his billing as one of the better prep players coming out of high-school, he has struggled with his shot throughout his collegiate career. Freshman guard Julian Jacobs has already established himself as one of the team’s most integral pieces. The newcomer is shooting 35% from the three-point line and leads the team in assists.
The Trojans have two big slabs of meat upfront. 7’2″ Omar Oraby, from parts unknown, has developed into a solid center capable of scoring around the hoop and blocking/altering shots. He doesn’t move very well but he does take up a lot of space. Joining him is 6’10” freshman Nikola Jovanovic (9.4 ppg/5.5 rpg) from Serbia. Jovanovic is a very-skilled big with prototypical European tools. He needs to add some bulk, but will probably be a NBA prospect by the time he is done at USC.
Chass Bryan, a wee lad, adds depth to the Trojan backcourt. DJ Haley, another seven-footer, is a graduate transfer from VCU.
USC’s size concerns me greatly. However, UD is at home and has the better offensive team. Flyers win a close one, 78-73.