So we have had almost 48 hours to digest the news that Kevin O'Neill will be our next basketball coach.
Like it or not...
It is obviously still too early to know what the ramifications will be with hire but as I said over the weekend the wasteland that is USC basketball was not going to get us a top fight coach. I have been reading and participating on some of the message boards and the consensus is that many USC fans want to give O'Neill a chance and now that he is named as our coach we need to get behind him and support him. I am fine with that. The decision is made and there isn't anything we can do about it. I also refuse to act like other websites did when coaches were hired that the fan base vehemently disagreed with. That gets us nowhere. We are where we are and there is nothing we will can do to change it so we need to just deal with it.
The road ahead is still going to be very rough but that should not be a surprise to anyone.
Kevin O'Neill has not made it easy on himself with his personality traits so to me this is the perfect opportunity for him to prove to the masses that he has indeed changed as he claims. Sadly, expectations at SC are now pretty low. O'Neill has an opportunity to start a new chapter in his coaching career and perform better than expected...it certainly won't take much.
The first big question is who is going to be on his staff? Wolf reported on his blog this morning that O'Neill told all the assistants that they will be allowed to return next season. That does not mean that they will return only that they can return if they choose to do so. I guess that makes sense, with prime recruiting season right around the corner trying to put your own staff together this late in the game could be difficult. The second thing would be to see if O'Neill could get any of the recruits back that decommitted or who were released from the LOI. I do not have much faith in that happening but he has to make the effort.
Today's press conference will be interesting to say the least. You know some interesting questions will be thrown out. I won't be able to see it as it happens but hopefully it will be online to watch later. I am sure O'Neill will the rounds on the local radio programs so when they become available I will post them up.
Here are a few more interesting reads that have popped up around the internet.
Kevin O’Neill Returns to the Pac-10 - The Quad Blog - NYTimes.com
Here is the NYT's take
Kevin O’Neill takes over troubled USC program " To The Tin
Here is some more...
Kicking Lettuce - An Intriguing Hire
This is also a reasonable take
The Big Blue Daily Mail - A Sea Of Blue
Here is a brief take on the hire from SBN's Kentucky Blog
USC hires... Kevin O'Neill? - CougCenter
And one from SBN's Wazzu blog...