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Basketball Update

There is a pretty good interview over at CSTV with Coach Tim Floyd, done by CSTV's Steve Brauntuch.

In it Floyd talks about his recruiting roots, his early days at SC, the benefits of the Galen Center and USC rise last season and their future.

On his roots

I had to think nationally in terms of recruiting because of my roots as an assistant at UTEP and developed a recruiting mentality that we had to think about all regions of the country. And as a result, I've made a lot of contacts. Secondly, I think the foundation that Don Haskins gave me as far as that discipline is not a bad word, that defense is not a bad word, and having to build teams with different types of players, because at UTEP, we weren't really playing to a system of play.

On his early days at USC

when I took the job in January [2005], we had an interim coach [Jim Saia] and we had four players returning from a last place team. So knowing that you had to have at least 10 to practice, I let [Saia] coach the team the rest of that year and went out and started building it through recruiting. I was trying to target young players that were freshmen and sophomores and tried to develop relationships with them over a four-year period, much like Billy Donovan did at Florida.

...We were in a place where kids actually grew up wanting to go to school at USC, and I didn't want to sell this program short. So I had to put a philosophy in place that kind of revolved around taking young players or high school players...

On O.J. Mayo

I think people need to remember that he is a freshman, that there will be some growing pains along the way. But I think that what I'm witnessing already is leadership, a guy who is trying to rally all of our guys to get in the gym, lift, work in periods when the coaches can't work with them in the weight room or individual skill-wise, making sure that guys get to classes on time and where they need to be.

On recruiting

think previous coaches literally had to go into home visits in recruiting apologizing for the commitment to basketball. It was perceived as strictly a football school, and we were very proud of football. But in our case, we no longer have to apologize. There really is no reason for a great prospect not to consider USC at this point, given that we're in the second largest market in the United States, we have maybe the finest facility in college basketball, we've got a tremendous academic institution, and there's a wealth of talent in the Los Angeles area.

Floyd really gives some great answers and you can tell he is really excited about the upcoming season.

USC's basketball season is going to start a little early this year with a three game trip to Mexico on Labor Day weekend.

From Dan Weber at The Press-Enterprise:

With a three-game trip to Mexico on Labor Day weekend, the basketball Trojans will be playing before the football team's Sept. 1 debut against Idaho at the Coliseum.

The Aug. 31-Sept. 3 foray to Puerto Vallarta will do more than give Tim Floyd's team a jump on the season. It will give the Trojans a 10-day practice period six weeks before official practice begins Oct. 15.

That's going to be a wild weekend. Talk about overload there is going to be a lot to talk about as that weekend approaches. There are high hopes for both programs and all eyes will be on O.J. Mayo and Joe McKnight when their respective teams take the field.

The Schedule is almost set:

After opening at home against Mercer, USC heads to South Carolina for one game at The Citadel and a return game at South Carolina, the team that opened Galen Center a year ago.

After the Anaheim tournament Nov. 22-25, USC plays host to Oklahoma in the Pac-10/Big 12 Classic on Nov. 29. Then come the biggest dates on the non-conference schedule.

In a Dec. 2 game televised by Fox Sports, USC will play host to what is expected to be a Top 5 Kansas team. The game was originally planned as a Dec. 1 nightcap to the Trojans-Bruins football game at the Coliseum.

On Dec. 4, the Trojans will battle highly regarded Memphis in the Jimmy V. Classic at New York's Madison Square Garden.

I will be at MSG no doubt about it! It will be great to see Mayo in person.

Where will they be ranked?

ESPN has the Trojans at No. 21 nationally going into 2007-08. But the Seattle Times, in its Pac-10 Power Poll, has USC a lowly seventh in the Pac-10, which arguably could be the nation's top league with all its returning talent.

We have some work to as the critics have some questions. I'm fine with that though, let them gush over the bruins, god knows they have been screaming about a lack of recognition. I'm fine with SC flying under the radar, hopefully it will keep the pressure to perform at a decent level.