We may only be midway through the college basketball season, but it’s not too early to start wondering if the USC Trojans made a mistake in hiring Andy Enfield as their head coach. Instead of going with an established head coach or a long-time assistant at a powerhouse program, the Trojans went with the flavor of the month, which was Enfield, fresh off a trip to the Sweet 16 with 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Enfield put together a great season at FCGU last year, even before their surprising run through the tournament, but he was only the head coach there for two years. Two years as a head coach isn’t a lot of experience, and he wasn’t the only one that built the FGCU program to the point that they were able to make that great run in the NCAA Tournament. USC hired Enfield off of one good season in the Atlantic Sun conference and two games in the NCAA Tournament, and a big-time program in a major conference needs to hire someone with a longer list of credentials than that.
Thus far, the Trojans are 9-7 under Enfield, and they’re already 0-3 in Pac 12 conference play. USC also had a disconcerting loss to Long Beach State back in December. Although LGSU is a quality mid-major program, the Trojans can’t afford to lose to lower-level schools that are also located in southern California, especially one that has just five wins this season.
Outside of wins over Dayton and Xavier, the Trojans don’t have much to hang their hat out on this season. A disappointing start to the conference season combined with a mediocre performance during the non-conference season doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in Enfield at the start of his tenure. His recruiting early on has been solid, but it’s well below the level it needs to be for USC to compete with schools like UCLA and Arizona at the top of the Pac 12.
We won’t now for sure if it was a mistake to hire Enfield for at least a couple more years. But when hiring him, USC went with what was trendy and not necessarily what was smart. There were plenty of other candidates that the Trojans could have brought in that were more qualified than Enfield, whose mediocre start to his tenure at USC makes you wonder whether or not he was the right choice.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.