Enfield ready to change culture at USC
APR 03, 2013 2:35p ET
USC basketball hasn't been the Elite Eight since 2001, and has advanced to only two Final Fours since 1954.
Across town, UCLA basketball boasts 11 national titles, ten of those thanks to legendary coach John Wooden, and handfuls of conference championships.
And this week, in a Hollywood twist fitting of La La Land, both programs made big hires (Steve Alford at UCLA, Andy Enfield at USC) and introduced their new head coaches a day apart.
On Wednesday at USC's Galen Center, a confident Enfield was asked about his first thoughts on the cross-town rivalry.
"I am focused on the future of USC basketball and no one else," said Enfield, admitting he didn't know Alford very well but that he does have great respect for UCLA.
Can Enfield, who led tourney-darling FGCU to the Sweet 16 with a fast-paced, high-scoring, dunk-crazy style of play, and the Trojans steal the thunder from Alford and the Bruins?
USC athletic direct Pat Haden seems to think so.
"We want to reset the basketball culture starting today," Haden added
And, while noting Enfield's stunning model-wife Amanda, who stole headlines throughout the tournament, Haden knows his new coach as "an eye for talent."
"This is a dream come true. To be here in front of you today, it's an unbelievable dream," Enfield said.
With upperclassmen as the strength of his returning roster at USC, Enfield is anxious to hit the fertile recruiting grounds of Los Angeles.
"If you can recruit, you can recruit anywhere, if you have a winning culture and program, you can win anywhere," Enfield said.
He's not the only one.
"This area is loaded with great talent, great high school coaches, great programs," said Alford on Tuesday.
Player development is crucial, and a big part of what he teaches and coaches, Enfield said.
The son of two educators, Enfield has the smarts -- he was the valediction of his high school class and holds degrees from Johns Hopkins and Maryland -- and the coaching experience -- six years at the NBA level, five at Florida State as an assistant -- to make an immediate impact.
Congrats to Steve Alford the new coach at UCLA and Andy Enfield the at USC. #WelcometoLA— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 3, 2013
But it won't be easy in the talent-heavy Pac-12.
Enfield says his team must to win games this upcoming season, and with Alford, a member of Indiana's 1987 national title team as a star guard, working across town, a new, and exciting, chapter of the USC-UCLA basketball rivalry has officially begun.
"We will build a culture of winning," Enfield said. "This is where I wanna be."
+ SHOW COMMENTS +