USC Morning Buzz: Euphoria Within A Bubble

In past years, the euphoria that gripped a team making the Sweet 16 was accompanied by something else: Travel.

When USC made the Sweet 16 in 2007, it played Arkansas and Texas in Spokane, Wash., the first two games and then flew East Rutherford, N.J., to face North Carolina.

In 2001, the Trojans beat Oklahoma State and Boston College in Uniondale, N.Y., spent a day in New York City, then took a bus to Philadelphia to face Kentucky and Duke.

USC is currently confined to the NCAA bubble in Indianapolis. In some ways, it is better (no travel) but it comes without the fan interaction of past tournaments, which is worse.

If Hinkle Fieldhouse were sold-out Monday, it would have been amazing. Instead there were a smattering of USC fans (left part of photo) while Kansas sold out its small allotment (right part of photo).

Overall, it’s not great but I suspect it won’t matter to teams like USC, who do not have long NCAA traditions, especially if the Trojans beat Oregon and can say they made the Elite Eight for the first time in 20 years.

  • I saw a few USC fans say Monday night to give Andy Enfield a new contract. Let’s relax on that. Enfield reached his first Sweet 16 with USC in his eighth season. Tim Floyd got to the Sweet 16 in his second season at USC.

Henry Bibby, a coach that anyone who played for could write a book on his self-sabotage methods, reached the Elite Eight in his sixth year.

Enfield makes around $3.5 million during a pandemic. And I don’t see a rush of schools offering him a job.

  • It’s also misleading to note Enfield’s NCAA appearances are more than say, Bob Boyd, which I saw last week. As you know, Boyd could only make the NCAA Tournament if he finished ahead of UCLA and won the Pac-8.

If those rules existed today, USC would not have made the NCAA Tournament this season.

  • All Hail the Pac-12!

With a 9-1 record through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 equaled the third-best record for any league with five-or-more teams in the field since the tourney’s expansion in 1985:

2016 ACC – 12-1

2015 ACC – 11-1

2021 Pac-12 – 9-1

1990 ACC – 9-1

1989 Big Ten – 9-1

1985 ACC – 9-1

  • Pac-12 teams did not just go 9-1 through the first two rounds but had eight wins by double figures and an average margin of +13.1 points, which is the fifth-largest of any league with five-or-more teams in the field since the tourney’s expansion in 1985:

1993 ACC – +16.3 (9-2 record)

1996 Big East – +14.4 (8-2)

2001 Pac-12 – +14.0 (8-1)

2009 Big East – +13.5 (11-2)

2021 Pac-12 – +13.1 (9-1)

67 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Euphoria Within A Bubble

  1. I bet this was a HARD SWALLOW for scottie…
    and those yellow ucla dopes who wanted fans to be ashamed of their coach and team…
    this Pac 12 5 have proven they were able to play with any conference…
    and preseason picks exposed lack of real basketball knowledge…
    the SC back court finally played up to the front court, well at least once when it really counted…
    4 Pac 12 teams in sweet 16…that is some good coaching,and team work,there can only be 3 in elite 8 ,since next set includes 2 Pac 12 playing each other.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Probably, 67 —but whatever they gave him to open up his capillaries led to a pretty nice article today (if you edit out all the anti-Enfield stuff). I think it would be nice for Scott to admit that last night’s win is gonna work fricking miracles for recruiting and— as to this bit about other schools not being interested in Andy —-well, they will be now —[and I don’t see a better coach for USC talking about coming here either].

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree with the Royal Court yet again. I’m certain it was I that mentioned prior to last nights game, with Isiah Mobley playing at the level he is now- USC is unbeatable. I’m proven correct again. I was a little pussy yesterday only risking $200 (+1) over Kansas. I’m a lot happier wagering on USC Trojans to win than winning on USC football to lose. I’m on the path to righteousness- THANKS Enfield. I’m reflecting on last nights game and it’s truly incredible feat,as I’m torn between last night and 2001 win against Kentucky. The best news was Isiah Mobley stating “They (Oregon) stole the PAC-12 Championship.” I’m starting to dream BIG


  2. What a joke!
    This is how you pay your respects to player’s, coaches, parents and fans after a victory over THE KANSAS JAYHAWKS.
    Not Steve Alford or Mick Cronin.
    THE KANSAS JAYHAWKS led by legendary BILL SELF.
    You like to find any lane that drives your own self satisfaction instead of being honorable and PURELY UNBIASED because if that were the case you would be blogging a more positive post.
    It’s all good though because the media that matters know the deal. Sorry to disrespect but somebody has to if you can’t get one on one’s to let these coaches and players give you their 2 cents for once instead of this.
    Even the regulars who don’t see eye to eye with you will give you credit when it’s earned but I guess that’s not in the cards for a journalist huh?

    Have fun calling Andy Enfield “Pac 12 Coach of the Year” or “Coached USC to the Sweet 16”.

    That has to make you gag!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t the OSU coach already the PAC 12 coach of the year?

      Bill Self is ” legendary ” ?

      Like I said above, Wolf likes to tweak guys like you, he lives for it, it’s up to you to ignore him

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes he’s a legend in Kansas.
        Because he was able to win a National Championship after many years falling short with the great Roy Williams. Williams is loved in CB but wasn’t able to win a final four with the Jayhawks. Self came in and took over the Big 12 dominating immediately and what Coach besides John Wooden can say he won the conference title 11 straight years?


      2. I would rather just point out the facts…silence is to acquiesce ,not the reason to be here.
        Ore St won the tourney not coach of year,although he is a good coach, they barely had a good season, just got red hot at the end.
        I admit I do ignore most inane comments, only a fool argues with a fool.
        Bill Self is a great coach, not Bobby Knight great,but one of the best,and Kansas is perennial top 10 team.


  3. Money matters, especially with revenues down from covid and the larry scott factor. This certainly helps.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. “Protection” line is hilarious!

        Laughed out loud at that one.

        But seriously, would the other Pac teams let us keep all the $ so we could buy out CCH? Because it would be a good move for the conference? Because he has hurt the Pac 12 rep so much?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I agree, Scott. Unfortunately, Ayn Rand’s “Enlightened Self-Interest” is not the phrase that comes to mind when speaking of the Pac 12…..

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Worst ever tourney defeat of the jayhawks, previous was 18 pts. And one of the worst ever defeats, period.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mobley throws down the gauntlet at the quacks feet..

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Watching IM drain those 3’s last night was eye-popping!
        Hope he can reproduce that magic vs the Dux, cuz he certainly brought attention to himself last night.
        (His defensive intensity and rebounding was likewise fun to watch.)

        Young, hyped-up kids opening the damn mouth before a “rivalry game.” Ugh.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Manny have criticized him this year, not very long ago by some, but he has shown his value to this team the last couple games especially.

        I’m with you on this, I hope he continues his hot shooting as I feel it takes a great deal of pressure off the guards and “little” bro.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Well, if you can back it up… but writing checks you can’t cash would be a bad look. I have no problem with him say what he did, it was more a swipe at the conference than the quacks, IMO.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Correct, Pudly. The ducks hate our guts anyway. Let’s just get it out in the open and play for blood.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Whether he said it or not, if that’s the difference maker in this game, there’s a problem with the quacks. There was at no point going to be a scenario where prisoners were taken… all the conference goodwill ends with during the game.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. they just played basketball and had a better win/loss %
        the Pac 12 conference gave it to them even though SC beat them, the #1 criteria for first is apparently winning %…then the who beat who if a tie…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. and seedings matter, as the higher seeds have a perceived easier pathway to the Sweet 16, #1 playing a #16 in the first round and usually a #8 or 9 in the second round?

        Nice work by the players and coaches in the Pac 8. If only Larry Scott, et al had had the skill/talent/work ethic….*

        *sorry, I’m still bitter (ha ha). Don’t let the door swat ya’ on the a$$ on the way out.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Bourbon, P76, Anybody
        What exactly did Mr Scott accomplish? No hurry, I have time.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. CalSeventyFive

        Among the most egregious of Larry Scott’s faults was allowing the Pac 12 to lose its pre-eminent status in–wait for it–TENNIS.

        For cripesake, the only sport he knows and he couldn’t keep the conference dominant.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. They didn’t get cold vs us though…

        Defense has always traveled better than offensive output, and it’s what has kept us in games when our outside shooting and free throws were less than stellar.


      1. The above was meant to go below Pudly’s ESPN graphic on Kansas’ worst losses……

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I know they weren’t at full strength, however even with a healthy team there was no penetrating our defense last night.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Pardon my wonk, but
    I think West Coast University teams traveling East to play ANY sport–esp on a major stage–is a physical and emotional challenge for these teenagers (or early 20ers). TV requirements also come into play.* Now, “back in the day” when USC and UCLA had vastly superior talent (as a result of their FB and MBB prowess and recruiting advantages) we could expect their superior talent (mostly speed) to supersede the travel issues. As midwest and SouthEastern schools now poach some of the best remaining talent from the SoCal athletic pool, the prior West Coast recruiting advantage is nullified.

    I expect Professionals to be able to adjust. They have years of experience with such issues and are blessed with the ability to focus on just the game. Most of their games are in the evening, so the time change differential is lessened.

    I think the bubble–and taking away any travel advantage which the midwest schools have–has, at the least, allowed talent to shine through. Had full attendance been allowed, I would have expected 10,000 fans dressed in KU blue at Butler last night.

    *As an example, imaging kids from the West Coast having to play a BB game in Indiana with a TV start time of 11AM Saturday EAST COAST time. That would be 8AM west coast time. What time do you get the kid up for brekkie, meetings, shoot arounds?

    Pardon my wonk.
    So damn proud of the fellas last night.
    Enjoyed a lil sip of post-game Blanton’s, I did.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nice, Bourbon. Time change west to east is tough, plus the weather difference. Having been there for a while, now all the players are on a roughly equal footing. Delighted to see the Pac-12 doing so well.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The weather ? They play basketball outside now ? Time change ? Going west to east is hard ? It’s 8 there and 5 for your west coast body, east to west is HARD, 8 in LA LA Land is 11 to an easterner. Come on guys, these are kids not old farts, geez.


      2. Din’t say anything about the weather, myself, but it does matter in football.
        And yes, Buddha, they are kids. Their central nervous system isn’t even functional at 10AM–whether it’s in the classroom or on the field.
        Men’s testosterone levels are in the shitter from about 11AM to 2PM every day (peaking for the proverbial booty call at 2AM of all times). Take a kid from LA and put him on the football field in Athens GA at 1PM (EST) and his serum testosterone level is somewhere around TebowObama’s (ie, undetectable).
        The kid in Athens has his testo level starting to peak.

        Goes for cortisol levels also. Adrenalin helps–to some degree.

        When I was playing, I felt like a fugging slug at 11AM LA time warming up for a 1PM game at the Coliseum. Of course, I knew I wasn’t gonna get in the game anyway, but still I felt like a slug.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry to reply to my own wonk…

      As the AD at the hallowed CFB home of USC, I’d not play ‘Bama (or any SEC/ACC team) unless it was a home and away series over two consecutive years. These Bull$#!t games in JerryWorld play 100% into the SEC team’s advantage.

      I’d love to see ‘Bama suit up for an 8PM Pacific start time in the Coliseum on a warm, late (think Santa Ana winds) September night with the smog index hovering above 100. We each have our home field advantage.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, heat. Santa Ana winds. Smog. All wonderful. Now, please add to your dream scenario …”and 3 Bama skill positions, including quarterback, unfilled due to a last minute [and very bitter] player argument over environmental issues…”
        #11Vs8WhenBamaOnOffense …

        Liked by 3 people

  6. 34 point victory. Led for all 40 minutes. Kansas didn’t make one run. Not one. Dominant for entire game. Played great team basketball, particularly on D with lockdown matchup zone. That is one great coaching effort, Scottie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Liked by 2 people

      1. Beat Oregon first, Michael, and then beat another Catholic school!

        BTW, 4 catholics in the sweet 16 (‘Zaga, Loyola, ‘Nova, Creighton) 1 Baptist (Baylor), and one I dunno (Oral Roberts). The Christians get 6/16 slots (7 if you still think USC is still a “Methodist” school).

        Coincidence? I think not!
        Gotta be thinking Pope Francis will be staying up late (or getting up early) this coming weekend–and it won’t be for mass. Might have to have a Cardinal deliver the homily.

        Let’s see how the Christians and the heathens settle this over the next two weekends. If I were JO, I wouldn’t be siding with the heathens.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. As a Catholic priest told me in high school after giving me an “A” for a history exam in which I re-arranged the chronological order of ancient historical figures ‘so as to bring Greek history to a more dramatically satisfying ending’, “I have always given bonus points for originality…”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. And you think you got life bad! Try being a Kansas Jayhawk basketballer returning to their Lawrence, Kansas campus this morning. It is a heckler’s dream:

    “Hey, Jayhawks, if you played SC 10-games you’d probably lose 11 of them”

    “You guys shouldn’t be required to wear face-masks on campus– a hangman’s hood would be better”

    “I have a cure for your shooting woes. I’m petitioning the NCAA to widen the basket by 3-feet”

    “You ain’t my dad’s Jayhawks”

    “Was that Duke you played? North Carolina? Come on, man, that was JUST SC”

    “You guys range from 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-10 and yet you play like dwarfs”

    “The Russians don’t have to nuke Kansas now. You guys did the job last night”

    “Cheer up, lads, I saw improvement in your game. You lost by 18-points in the first half, and only by 16 in the second”

    “My mom knows nothing about basketball, but she says you stink”

    “I’ve now seen it all. SC football demise. And Trojan basketball arise:

    “Even the silly Greeks were able to outmanuever the Trojans”

    “You guys’ play last night resembled Christians being marched into Roman coliseums”

    “So, City-Slick’ SC lays a lickin’ on our country boys”

    “Well, as they say– Rome had its day; Greece lost its way; and now Kansas is in decay”

    “Interesting how anti-slavery Jayhawkers looked enslaved last night”

    “Every cloud has a silver lining– there were only 150 Kansas witnesses in the arena for the game”

    “Thanks fellas– I was able to go to bed and get some sleep by halftime”

    ” “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”– You throw the game to SC?”

    “We’ve been replaced on the ‘map’ by SC”

    “Kansas football ain’t won nothin’ in 50 years, but I can’t wait for the season to start”

    “I am jelly-bellying outta this hick Kansas town. California, here I come!”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My opinion: Great win, however do not get overexcited. Enjoy the win for one day. Tomorrow start focusing on Peking err oregon duck. SC needs to show up with determination and abuse the ducks. Their defense and rebounding have been carrying the team. They need to play lock down defense for the rest of the tournament.

    #20, Anderson, needs to stop dribbling so much. he turned the ball over way too many times. Either handle the ball or get on the bench and watch.

    Free throw shooting will lose the next game. Horrible free throw shooting. Fix it. Eaddy did too much dribbling, pass the ball.

    There are things to work on. Get on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Incredible game, but Enfield needs to win without the Mobley brothers to be a decent coach. I just dont see him as a team-builder, this was a one-off.

    Remember, Helton won with Sam Darnold, but after Sam left, we say how Helton performed.

    Bohn is smart enough to see that this is probably an anomaly in the Enfield record.


    1. Enfield won with Metu. Had Melton been able to play, USC would have gone to the tourney easily during De’anthony’s soph season.

      I recall a few years ago the Trojan’s were snubbed from the field of 68. It was egregious and biased.

      Enfield won with OO last year, and I. Mobley was marginally contributory last year. I think last year’s team could have gone to the sweet 16.

      He’s slowly building a good reputation for our hoops program.
      I, for one, support him.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m agreeing with Bourbon here, BigO had us in position for a nice run last year too… and the season prior, if we didn’t hold the kid out, we’d have danced too.

      Liked by 1 person

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