So Madness is upon us...Cal is already out.
Obviously this season has given SC fans a lot of frustration. The obvious target was coach Tim Floyd. I don't think anyone would disagree too much that Floyd is a very good game coach but there were some moves he made that many of us scratch our heads. The weak free throw shooting, the sloppy ball handling and even the difficulty in bounding the ball were just some of things that pissed us off. But the thing that really disappointed the fans were the double digit leads that were squandered in a number of games.
Regardless, SC is in the tourney for the third straight year and Tim Floyd is cementing his legacy as one of USC's most successful basketball coaches. Fair is fair, if he is responsible for the bad then he has get credit for the good. I realize there are some who will disagree but if you're in for a dime you're in for a dollar.
Mike Waldner thinks Floyd is deserving of some credit...
Floyd can coach. He can match Xs and Os with the best in the business.
No matter how much he protests.
"It wasn't coaching," Floyd said after the run through Cal, UCLA and Arizona State.
That was one of the few times he was wrong.
It was a masterful job of coaching by a man who does not play the look-at-what-I-did-to-win-this-one game, which is a habit some in his profession have.
Freshman DeMar DeRozan exploded over the weekend, scoring 17 points against Cal, 21 (with 13 rebounds) against UCLA and 25 against Arizona State.
Floyd praised the Compton High product for his talent, work ethic and willingness to accept coaching. Add the patience and understanding of a coach who did not panic when a 19-year-old played like he was 19 - or at times 17 - during a long learning season.
The contrast between DeRozan and Jrue Holiday, the centerpiece of UCLA's freshman class, cannot be missed. DeRozan has fit in and grown.
Lost in all the frustration that many fans have felt this season is the fact that even in the era of the one-and-done player Floyd has found a way to get SC into the tournament. It hasn't been pretty and it may not be the most effective recipe for success going forward but the results are hard to ignore.
I would love to see more depth. I would love to have a true point gaurd on the roster and I would love to have our star players stay for more than one year but right now we have waht we have...it isn't the most conventional but if it means that SC is in the post season then I won't complain.
I had a former colleague once say to me...I wasn't hired for my methods, I was hired for geting results. Right now Tim Floyd is the epitome of that.