A pair of quips USC coach Andy Enfield probably didn't intend for print appeared in a profile published in the December issue of Men's Journal, riling up fan bases from UCLA and UTEP in the process.
Speaking to a small group of boosters during the offseason, Enfield first weighed in on crosstown rival UCLA and its hire of former New Mexico coach Steve Alford this past March.
Said Enfield, "I don't worry about them. I've made it to one Sweet Sixteen in two years, and he's made it to one Sweet Sixteen in 18 years."
Next in Enfield's crosshairs was UTEP coach Tim Floyd, who accused the new USC coach of tampering in July after prized recruit Isaac Hamilton sought his release without ever playing a game for the Miners. Enfield has denied that accusation and Hamilton has since transferred to UCLA.
Said Enfield, "Tim Floyd shows up every day at work and realizes he lives in El Paso, Texas. And he's pissed off that he didn't get the USC job two months ago. I told him, 'Tim, if I could have all this power to somehow convince a family to do this, why the heck didn't the kid come last spring, when I first got the job?'"
This isn't even the first time Enfield has made headlines for a crack against a rival. The San Jose Mercury News reported that Enfield halted a preseason scrimmage at Galen Center to chide his players: "We play up-tempo here. If you want to play slow, go to UCLA."
Providing bulletin board material for a crosstown rival ensures UCLA will have ample motivation for its two games against the Trojans this year, but Enfield's sharp tongue also serves USC's interest too.
The former mayor of Dunk City was hired not only to resuscitate USC's struggling program but also increase attendance and interest in Trojans basketball.
Enfield's best chance to draw sellout crowds and top recruits will be winning with his trademark high-flying, up-tempo style, but the new coach didn't inherit a talented enough roster to realistically make USC relevant in his first year. As a result, perhaps he's trying to drum up interest from fans and boosters with his mouth since he can't yet do it with his win-loss record.