USC hires Arkansas coach Eric Musselman to replace Andy Enfield

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14: Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman during a second round game of the men's Southeastern Conference Tournament between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Arkansas Razorbacks, March 14, 2024, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Eric Musselman has been Arkansas' head coach for the past five seasons. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is heading west.

USC announced Thursday that Musselman would be the school's new men’s basketball coach. He replaces Andy Enfield after Enfield left the Trojans to take the head coaching job at SMU.

Musselman leaves Arkansas after five seasons with the Razorbacks and lots of NCAA tournament success. Arkansas made the tournament in three of his five seasons and won eight games across those three appearances.

Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight in both 2021 and 2022 and made the Sweet 16 in 2023. The Razorbacks were a No. 8 seed a season ago and upset No. 1 seed Kansas in the second round before losing to eventual national champ UConn.

The 2023-24 season was a disappointment in Fayetteville, however. Arkansas finished 16-17 overall and was just 6-12 in the SEC. That performance didn’t put Musselman’s job in serious jeopardy, however. After the season was over, Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek posted to social media that Musselman was staying in Arkansas.

That message was before Enfield left for SMU, however. And with Enfield heading to Dallas, Musselman quickly became USC’s top candidate.

USC is Musselman's third head coaching stint in the state of California and his first in college basketball. Musselman previously served as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors for two seasons from 2002-04 and was the head coach of the Sacramento Kings for the 2006-07 season. After that season with the Kings, Musselman coached in the G League before moving to the college ranks.

At USC, Musselman will take over a program that also made the NCAA tournament for three consecutive seasons before missing it in 2024. But USC hasn’t had the regular season or tournament success that Arkansas has had in that span.

USC lost in the first round in both 2023 and 2022 after advancing to the Elite Eight as a No. 6 seed in 2021. Expectations were high for the Trojans in 2023-24, but USC stumbled to a 15-18 record and was just 8-12 in the Pac-12.

The Trojans will likely have a vastly different roster next season as they move to the Big Ten. Leading scorer Boogie Ellis was a senior and freshman Isaiah Collier could be a first-round pick if and when he declares for this summer’s NBA Draft.

Bronny James’ futurę may also be in question. He averaged 19 minutes per game over 25 games after a cardiac issue over the summer and scored just 4.8 points per contest. James could explore the NBA Draft as LeBron has said that he’d love to play with his son in the NBA before he retires.