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