Apr 10, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT
Andy Enfield did what he had to do if he wanted a chance to succeed at USC.
He went out and he hired the two best west coast recruiters that he could.
Over the weekend, it was Jason Hart that was hired, an LA native and a former Syracuse guard that spent last season as an assistant at Pepperdine. He’s well-respected, he’s got west coast ties and he’s generally regarded as a good hire.
The bigger deal, however, is today’s hire of former San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland. Bland, like Hart, is a former Syracuse player and the kind of recruiter that can bring in talent. He’s credited with recruiting both Skylar Spencer and Winston Shepard to the Aztecs, and he’ll be getting more than $300,000 a year by Enfield, which should give you an idea of just how valuable of an asset he is.
In fact, if you want an idea of just how big of a deal this hire is, there was more scuttlebutt around whether or not Bland would go to USC than any other coaching move during Final Four weekend.
All of a sudden, USC looks like the program on the rise out west.
“Tony Bland is the best young recruiter on the West Coast, and is extremely visible,” CBSSports.com recruiting analyst Jeff Borzello said. “He’s everywhere, and kids know who he is. Bland alone makes USC’s staff a force. Throw in Jason Hart, another California native, and you’ve got plenty of ties in Los Angeles.”
That is precisely what Enfield needed to do with his coaching staff.
He’s the guy that brings in an entertaining system. He’s the guy that will make USC fun to watch. He will help them win basketball games and put butts in seats at the Galen Center. But that can only happen if the Trojans bring in talented players that can thrive playing in Dunk City West. So Enfield went out and hired the guys that will get him the players.
Why did anyone doubt that Enfield would make the right move when putting together his staff?
Think about this: the guys has been awesome at everything that he’s done in life. He scored 2,000 points in college and became a shot doctor that worked with NBA players despite being a Division III athlete. He’s not a terribly good looking dude and he managed to get a Maxim cover model to marry him. He was one of the first people in at a firm that’s now worth billions. Florida State was good when he coached there. Florida Gulf Coast won 41 games in their first two seasons as a full-time Division I member, which may be the most impressive thing that he’s done in his life.
He’s really smart. He works really hard. And he’s never failed at anything that he’s ever done.
Winning basketball games at USC is never a guarantee.
But Enfield is just one of those guys that you don’t want to bet against. He gets things done. Why would this be any different?
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
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