FOX Sports NEXT: First thing's first, everyone always wants to know, how is your wife Amanda doing?
Andy Enfield: Well she is great. Really adjusting to the West Coast, loves Los Angeles, we’ve got our three children – so we’re really excited to be here.
FOX Sports NEXT: Has the media whirlwind from Jay Leno, throwing the first pitch at the Angels game, etc., calmed down?
Enfield: It’s getting there. It was funny because when Leno called me to – or his producer – I told my wife they wanted me on the Tonight Show and she said, “Why? You’re not that funny?” So it was a little nerve-wracking, that’s not my – I’ve been on the job for a week and then the Tonight Show? I was a little nervous.
FOX Sports NEXT: And next to Charlie Sheen, nonetheless…
Enfield: He is great, though. I really had fun with Charlie, Brad Paisley was there, and of course Jay is a pro, he was great. Then we went on to recruiting, got thrown in the fire here…we’ve got to get some good recruits and players here at USC that want to play our style of ball and we’re looking forward to it.
FOX Sports NEXT: What kind of expectations do you have for your current roster?
Enfield: We have very good returning players. Omar [Oraby] is one of the best centers in the country. Byron Wesley is a double-digit scorer. J.T. Terrell, there are some good guards, some guys who didn’t play a lot last year who will have expanded minutes. So we’re excited about our returning players and our freshmen come next week and get going in the summer program. Once we get our entire roster here we’ll actually see what we have.
FOX Sports NEXT: Do you think the incoming freshmen will supplement the players the program lost to graduation?
Enfield: I hope so. They are talented players, great kids that have great attitudes and we look forward to seeing them. They’ll have an adjustment this summer with the weight room and of course every freshmen struggles a little bit with the academic rigors and also trying to figure out when they can do their workouts and on the court, in the weight room, conditioning, and just manage their time. Once they figure that out I think this fall we’ll be ready to go.
FOX Sports NEXT: The entire country seemed excited over Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament, is your current roster as excited about getting out there to throw lob passes?
Enfield: Well, you need some guys that can dunk and they’re excited. We’re going to play an up-tempo style of basketball, really spread the floor, work on our player development so they have the skills necessary to do that. We start our summer workouts next week and they’re excited to go.
FOX Sports NEXT: How difficult is it to implement your system and style of play?
Enfield: Well, the first year at Florida Gulf Coast we had some people in the eighth, ninth, tenth row catching passes. It’s a process. You have to put your system in, you have to have players who are skilled enough and can play fast and you have to practice fast. It is going to be an adjustment but just like any new coaching staff when you have a new system coming in, it takes awhile to get used to it. We are very fortunate that in Los Angeles we already have good players on the team and we can really recruit to our system to play that fun style.
FOX Sports NEXT: On the recruiting trail, are players excited about the style of play you are bringing to USC? Is that part of the pitch?
Enfield: I don’t have say it to them, they say it to me, the recruit, their parents and coaches. Most people, the comment I got the most was “You were our favorite team to watch in the NCAA tournament. We love your style of play, it’s refreshing.” Scoring in college basketball was the lowest it’s been in 60 years across the country. We were not like that. We were third in the nation in offensive transition efficiency, meaning we fast break a lot. We were top 15 in the nation in steals, so we get out use our defense to create offense, we rebound the ball, we push on makes and misses and we spread the floor. What you see is all the lob passes, the kick-outs for threes and the transition – it’s a fun style to play. It’s a quick hitting thing just like the NBA, quick screening action, ball screening action, and you have to have more than one playmaker on the court – you have to have multiple playmakers at the different positions. So yeah, the recruits have all seen us and they’re excited.
FOX Sports NEXT: Does coaching this style of basketball comes easily to you? The way players talk about it, it seems so different.
Enfield: It’s not like I invented this, it’s been around a long time. I get too much credit sometimes. We need good players to play what we are doing in our system. We are like a lot of different teams around the country. We aren’t the only one who pushes the ball in transition, we just practice like that and then our players have fun playing and it’s a culture you develop within your program. So my belief is positive reinforcement – and you better have fun, you’re in college for a short amount of time and if you aren’t having fun then you’re doing the wrong thing.
FOX Sports NEXT: Can you discuss the three hires you made for your staff?
Enfield: We are very fortunate to get the three guys that I’ve hired. First, Tony Bland came from San Diego State. Tony grew up in Los Angeles, he’s recruited on the West Coast as well as nationally, and he’s been very successful at San Diego State. Jason Hart from Pepperdine, he also grew up in Los Angeles, played in the NBA for ten years. And then Kevin Norris came with me from Florida Gulf Coast and he’s been an assistant coach for three or four different places and played at Miami, was an All Big-East point guard. So I have three great coaches, young and energetic coaches, that are big in player development but were also great players themselves and played professional basketball and were big time college players, so I’m just very excited.
FOX Sports NEXT: Hard to put a timetable on things, but do you have an idea when you’d like to see this program transform and become what you envision?
Enfield: We’re looking to win right away. It took us two years to be in the Sweet Sixteen at Florida Gulf Coast University. When I was at Florida State as an assistant coach it took us two and a half – three years before we were a top 20 team, went to the Sweet Sixteen, won the ACC, played in two championship games and were a top 25 team, so I know what you have to do to win quickly, but you have to have the right pieces and you have to have the right team who will buy in. You have to have players become a team and when you do that you can be a top 25 team very quickly.
FOX Sports NEXT: Summer workouts coming up…
Enfield: [Players] are pumped. Two players stopped by my office at 6:30 this morning, they thought workouts were today, but we pushed them back to next week so they were here ready to go and really just can’t wait to get on the court.
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