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

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
Leave a comment

Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.