LA Times today quotes Hackett (pronounced "Hacker" in French) as liking USC's chances for winning the Pac-10 tourney because they beat everyone in the conference except UCLA. This can cut two ways. First, that SC is an overachiever who on a given night can beat anyone (and therefore is well-coached). Second, that SC is an underachiever who on a given night can lose to anyone (and therefore is poorly coached).
In deciding which of these choices best fits the situation, consider that SC started the season with three experienced starters (Gibson, Hackett, Lewis), which is more than UCLA had, brought in the #1 or 2 freshman in the country (DeRozan, comparable in ratings to Jrue Holliday), and was a media choice to contend for the conference title. Consider further that in a down year for the Pac-10, SC was one of the few schools not expected to have a significant drop off (lose questionably recruited Mayo, add questionably recruited DeRozan). Sprinkle in the fact that Oregon State won zero conference games last year and Oregon would barely win any this year (should be 4 sure wins to pencil in on day one). Then observe that SC had to win its last two games at home to crawl up to .500 (9-9) for the year. Highlights of course include ending Oregon State's 21-game conference losing streak, but perhaps more telling is stellar-motivator Floyd informing everyone before the Arizona trip that winning one game out of two would be huge and that losing both would be no big deal. Gee, I'm not even sure Lavin could have thought that one up.
Next year with "character players" Alex Stepheson and Renardo Sidney coming in, the opportunity to prove coaching skills will be entertaining, if nothing else. (Presumes Sidney actually takes the SAT and actually gets an SC-admissible score, thereby qualifying for course work with Senora Ross.)