USC Trojans: Andy Enfield

Momentum is a powerful thing in the world of college basketball recruiting. While it tends to be a constant for a select few national powerhouses like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas, virtually all other programs in the country are constantly competing for any edge that can push them to that next level.

In the wake of our initial 2014 ESPN 100 player rankings release last week and as we start a team-by-team breakdown of 2014 recruiting targets by conference over the next two weeks, here’s a look at five college hoops programs that are trending in the wrong direction on the momentum meter heading into the 2014 recruiting class.

WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

April, 12, 2013
WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

Ryan S. Castro (via e-mail): Who are some of the expected visitors for the spring game this weekend?

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USC basketball coach Andy Enfield has hired former San Diego State assistant Tony Bland as his associate head coach, a source confirmed on Wednesday.

The news was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Bland played shooting guard at Los Angeles Westchester and led the Comets to the California state title in 1998. He played two years at Syracuse before transferring to San Diego State. Bland was the leading scorer for the Aztecs in his senior season and was a two-time all-conference selection.

He joined the San Diego State staff two years ago after a professional career in Europe. It was an emotional decision for Bland to leave his alma mater to join the USC staff, and one that he wrestled with for several days.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Bland told the Union-Tribune.

The news comes two days after Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson tweeted that his assistant, Jason Hart, would also be joining Enfield's staff.

“Jason Hart will be joining the new USC staff,” Wilson wrote. “They are getting a first class person, family man & hard worker. Much respect”

Hart played at Inglewood High School and attended Syracuse from 1996-2000. He was a four-year starter at point guard for the Orange and left as the school’s all-time leader in steals. After playing professionally for 10 years, Hart coached for one year at Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft and led them to the L.A. City title and then had one year on the Pepperdine staff.
Longtime USC assistant basketball coach Bob Cantu announced on his Twitter account on Saturday night that he will not return to the Trojans staff.

“I would like to thank USC for 12 good years!” Cantu wrote. “I will not be returning as a coach at USC and wish the best to the future staff. Fight on!!”

Cantu was part of four coaching staffs during his 12 years at USC and was named the interim coach earlier this year after Kevin O’Neill was fired. Cantu led the Trojans to a 7-8 record, including victories over UCLA and Arizona.

USC hired Andy Enfield, formerly of Florida Gulf Coast, as its next basketball coach. Enfield stated at his introductory press conference that he would look at have assistant coaches with experience in the local basketball market. Among the names rumored so far are Jason Hart, who played at Inglewood and is now an assistant coach at Pepperdine, and Tony Bland, who played at Westchester and is now an assistant at San Diego State.

Video: Haden discusses Enfield hire

April, 3, 2013
USC athletic director Pat Haden joined WeAreSC's Garry Paskwietz to talk about why he hired Andy Enfield and his hopes for the future of Trojans' basketball.