Enfield Having Fun With USC Basketball

USC coach Andy Enfield is excited about his latest five-man freshman recruiting class. “They’ve helped their teams win state championships, City championships, CIF championships.” (Luis Sinco / LA Times)

“We have fun every day when we walk into the gym,” he said at the Southern California basketball coaches tipoff luncheon at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

What has Enfield excited and confident is not only the quality of his recruiting class, but the fact that all five players spent four years at their respective high school, a rarity in the era of transfer mania. They’ve displayed the kind of loyalty, leadership and dedication that could make for a special college experience.

“It’s unusual to have five freshmen who played four years at the same high school,” Enfield said. “The key is they came from winning programs and they’re winners themselves. They’ve helped their teams win state championships, City championships, CIF championships.”

The freshman class includes Ethan Anderson from Fairfax, Max Agbonkpolo from Santa Margarita, Isaiah Mobley from Temecula Rancho Christian, Onyeka Okongwu (left) from Chino Hills and Kyle Sturdivant from Norcross, Ga. Soon to join the group will be Drake London, a receiver on the football team out of Moorpark who also spent four years at his high school.

The 6-foot-9 Okongwu made a positive impression during USC’s 11-day summer trip to Europe, averaging 20.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in three games.

“I thought Big O was terrific as a freshman in high school,” Enfield said. “Now he’s a freshman in college and it’s surreal he’s four years older. He won a state championship as a freshman, won two more as a junior and senior, and was state player of the year. He’s done everything you can ask for as a player. He’s an exceptional young man.

USC will open its season with an exhibition game Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. at Galen Center against national power Villanova. All proceeds from the game will benefit the California Fire Foundation, which provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters.

latimes.com

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Scipio
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Seeing this basketball article in the middle of football season made me think of UNC football. Each year about this time when the Tar Heel fans realize they have another crappy football team, the discussion turns to basketball where they know they will have something to crow about. I hope this talk of basketball in the middle of USC’s football season isn’t a portent of whats to come.

RialtoTrojan
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In High School I loved watching Basketball games Covina High’s Doc Sooter was the best coach in the area. Then watching pro basketball and college basketball seem like a natural transition. Somehow I lost watching basketball in my scheme of things and although I don’t blame USC entirely it didn’t help that the team always seemed to come up short.
All that to say if I ever want to regain my ability to watch basketball this might be the year for it. Fight on

usc50
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This is the year to follow USC basketball. Since the time of Sam Clancy things haven’t looked
so good. Just had a top 5 recruiting class.

LawyerJohn
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Yes, finally, perhaps SC basketball can catch a little love this year. It is said that sucla fans are cool on football, but hot on their basketball. Contrary at SC, where the fans are cool on basketball and hot on football notwithstanding their dying love for Coach Helton…. These “Fabulous-5” (“Fab-5” has been used up) will probably not all be here next year with 1 or 2 leaving for the NBA millions. I have experienced only a few near-sellouts at Galen Center, but when the team is rocking and thousands of SC folks are into it, it is one grand… Read more »

danielmcd1
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We need to make it happen. WE need to have a team like the 1970-71 team, but this time we beat the FUCLA’s.

LawyerJohn
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Hear! Hear! mate. Glad to have you aboard…

And ‘thems’ were the days, weren’t they, Daniel. Riley, Gus Williams, Paul Westphal and Bob Boyd were No. 2 in the nation and not invited to the NCAAs.

danielmcd1
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Unfortunately, I can still remember one of Mo Layton’s drives to the basket when the ball just rimmed out when we went dry for almost 9 minutes in the 64-60 lost to Fucla in the Sports Arena. If you remember we had a 59-50 lead with 9 plus minutes to play. Wooden had called a time out and was the most pissed off I can recall him ever being. God that was a great moment in time!!!