It's safe to say that with all the scrutiny bearing down on him, Pat Haden has come through beyond anyone's expectations when it comes to the basketball program.
Cynthia Cooper-Duke's introductory press conference as the new head coach of the women's basketball team she once led as a player to two national championships felt like a repeat of Andy Enfield's intro last week. Excited fans, an aura of enthusiasm from the new hire, and an overall feeling that things are looking up at the Galen Center.
"We're gonna play some defense, and I know that seems funny for some of my teammates over there," she said, pointing at some members of that 1983-84 championship team. "They're like, 'Coop, you never played defense.' But I can coach defense!"
It's going to be great seeing her work with the Women of Troy, but particularly with rising senior Cassie Harberts, who has 16 career double-doubles and received All-Pac-12 honors this year. Neon Tommy's Aaron Fischman wrote a great feature on Harberts a few months ago, noting that she scored 30% of all of USC's scoring this season. Under Cooper-Dyke's tutelage, it will be interesting to see how she improves even more in her final season.
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke Press Conference (via USCAthletics)