Florida Gulf Coast Eagles coach Enfield shouts instructions to his players during their win over the San Diego State Aztecs in their third round NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Andy Enfield hire is accepted by USC recruits says commit Kahlil Dukes


After taking the first No. 15 seed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in NCAA tournament history, Andy Enfield became a big name for college coaching vacancies. Monday night, the Florida Gulf Coast head coach reportedly accepted a position as the head coach of the University of Southern California.

USC fired head coach Kevin O’Neill was fired in January, but the veteran coach had already locked up a four-commit class that includes guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes along with forwards Roschon Prince and Nikola Jovanovic. According to one commit, bringing Dunk City to Southern Cal is fine with him.

“I’m excited about it,” Dukes said in a phone interview on Monday night. “I’m speaking to everybody in the class right now about it. They’re excited about it too.”

Dukes, a 5-foot-11 guard from Capital Prep in Hartford, Conn. had followed the Dunk City phenomenon only in bits and pieces. He was offered and accepted a scholarship after impressing the USC coaching staff with his scoring ability this summer. Dukes, like many was surprised, but excited at the chance to play for Enfield.

“It never really crossed my mind that it’d be him,” Dukes said of the hire.

The New Englander believes that this class will have no problem fitting the face-paced style Florida Gulf Coast ran in Enfield’s two seasons with the Eagles. At under 6-feet, Dukes may not be on the receiving end of those highlight-reel alley oops, but he thinks that he and Jacobs can thrive in this style of play, like point guard Brett Comer did in the NCAA tournament this season as a sophomore.

“Julian works hard and he’s an uptempo player, so he’ll fit right in,” Dukes said. “I think the uptempo offense will fit in fine with us.”

The decision to hire Enfield was reported late on the east coast, and Dukes, who has been in contact with the USC athletic department throughout this season isn’t sure when he will be able to get a chance to talk to his new head coach.

“I’m guessing tomorrow, but I’m not really sure,” the USC commit said.

It’s uncertain what connections Enfield has to California and the rest of the west coast, but he’s off to a good start with the support of the Class of 2013.

The Trojans finished 14-18 (9-9 Pac-12) during the 2012-2013 season.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.