In a recent fanpost, Nestor riffs on why he hopes that Tim Floyd stays at USC.
That said I like Floyd where he is ... underachieving one season after another. Because if Floyd leaves that will probably open the door for Jamie Dixon to Southern Cal. Jamie Dixon to Southern Cal would be a major move. It will also make (at least for this Bruin) it very difficult to dislike that basketball program, given his character and former ties to Howland. Oh and don't think Dixon will not take the job because he doesn't want to compete against his former mentor or that he is afraid of sanctions (you think NCAA will grow a spine against SC?).
I'm in full agreement with Nestor. Though I actually respect Floyd's coaching ability -- his teams play good defense and play hard -- I'd like him to stay at USC. Floyd keeps SC competitive (see: This year's Pac 10 tournament), but despite the occasional SC upset of UCLA, he keeps them a middle of the pack Pac 10 team. Floyd's weakness to this point has been recruiting and roster management. His teams appear to be patched together parts, an athletic collection of wing players, most of whom seem to fall from the same prep school tree. If nothing else, Renardo Sydney aside, Floyd and UCLA Coach Ben Howland don't seem to be recruiting the same set of players.
All that would change if Pitt's Jamie Dixon took the USC job and the Dixon-to-SC rumor is rampant on the message boards.
I hear you laughing. Who cares what's written on a message board, right?
In this case, we do -- and you should, too.
You must keep in mind that Dixon is a Southern California native; he starred at Sherman Oaks' Notre Dame High School. He only ended up in Pittsburgh because he followed his mentor, Howland, to Western Pennsylvania. The word is: Dixon would love to come home.
Dixon to USC creates a quandary for UCLA fans. The most obvious issue is that Dixon is a very good coach who will have a much better chance of Floyd of challenging UCLA's stature in Southern California and in the Pac 10. But in another way, that's the least of our quandary. If we want to win national titles, then we can't let a little thing like SC getting a coach we respect get in our way.
Aahhh, there's the rub. If SC hires Dixon, UCLA fans will be sort of forced to respect the Trojan hoops progam in a way we'd rather not. It's easier to dismiss them as a good, upset minded program that poses no real threat. With Howland protege Dixon there, UCLA fans might be forced to give them their due.
It would also put to rest the "If Howland leaves for the NBA we'll just get Dixon" school of thought.
Let me address one other thing:
A few UCLA fans have expressed to me their concern that we hired the wrong Pitt coach when we brought in Howland to replace the previous coach whose name I don't like to type. They see Howland as a great X and O coach who is a little rough around the edges and they wonder if Dixon isn't the more charming version of the two (with that charm eventually leading to better recruiting).
This is patently ludicrous.
When UCLA hired Ben Howland, he was already established as one of the best coaches in the nation. Howland to UCLA was a no-brainer. Dixon had never been a head coach. In fact, it was mostly assumed that Dixon would come to Westwood to coach at Howland's side. No one really thought that Pitt would promote him.
Well, Pitt did and he's done well. Not great (never been to a Final Four, never beaten a higher seed in the tournament), but very well. If Howland took a pro job, I'd want Dixon on the short list to replace him.
But no one should ever think for a second that we should have hired Jamie Dixon over Ben Howland when we still had that choice to make. That's just crazy talk.
UPDATE (A): ESPN is now reporting the following:
Coach Tim Floyd will remain at USC, multiple news outlets are reporting.
The school is expected to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon.
UPDATE II (N): Well this works out very well for UCLA:
Unhinged Pink at Pauley (06) (Photo Credit: Jack Rosenfeld)
We get to experience comedy for few more seasons at least.
Meanwhile, Arizona gets played by Tim freaking Floyd. rofl.