While Steve Alford has hired one of his former assistant coaches from New Mexico, a high school coach from Indiana and an assistant from Oregon State to fill out his staff, Southern Cal's Andy Enfield has now hired two ace recruiters in his staff:
Andy Enfield did what he had to do if he wanted a chance to succeed at USC.
He went out and he hired the two best west coast recruiters that he could.
Over the weekend, it was Jason Hart that was hired, an LA native and a former Syracuse guard that spent last season as an assistant at Pepperdine. He's well-respected, he's got west coast ties and he's generally regarded as a good hire.
The bigger deal, however, is today's hire of former San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland. Bland, like Hart, is a former Syracuse player and the kind of recruiter that can bring in talent. He's credited with recruiting both Skylar Spencer and Winston Shepard to the Aztecs, and he'll be getting more than $300,000 a year by Enfield, which should give you an idea of just how valuable of an asset he is.
In fact, if you want an idea of just how big of a deal this hire is, there was more scuttlebutt around whether or not Bland would go to USC than any other coaching move during Final Four weekend.
All of a sudden, USC looks like the program on the rise out west.
This reminds me a little bit of Jim Mora hiring Adrian Klemm and Demetrice Martin - two stud recruiters - as the key anchors of his initial staff. We will see if the Enfield hire works out for the Trojans who has never been a real rival of UCLA when it comes to hoops. I happen to Enfield is more of a "flavor of the month" type of hire who could fizzle out.
However, in the early going it appears Enfield has made two good moves. And, now if he fills out his staff with a solid X and O guy, he will have a good set of coaches around him in Southern Cal with the narrative of "Dunk City West" to appeal to LA recruits. Meanwhile, we got guys from Oregon State, Indiana and New Mexico with not much of reputation as "ace recruiters" going out there recruiting for UCLA. Not exactly an encouraging sign.
UCLA should never have to worry about Southern Cal in hoops. But thanks to total incompetence of Chianti, his joke athletic department and his less than inspiring hire - here we are looking at a situation where Southern Cal may have the more attractive hoops staff in comparison to UCLA in LA.