Courtside: Andy Enfield could have a lot riding on USC’s Saturday game

first_imgIf you’re looking for intrigue surrounding USC’s Saturday showdown with UCLA, you don’t have to look very hard. The Trojans have a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament to play for, a March Madness berth to earn and a crosstown rival to gain bragging rights over for the second time this season. A win in this game alone shouldn’t cool Enfield’s seat entirely, but it would go a long way toward putting USC in March Madness, which should. Plus, not to mention, it would likely spoil UCLA’s comeback season and hamper its chances at a March Madness berth, and it’s no secret that the athletic department loves seeing the Bruins fail. If the Trojans were to fall to UCLA, they’d have to dig themselves out of a hole larger than one win against one of said bottom feeders. They’d have to take care of business in the first round, then go and handle a tough opponent such as Colorado or Arizona State in the quarterfinal, and at that point, they would need a win to avoid dropping two out of their last three games against good but far from unbeatable opponents — not a great look for a bubble team ahead of the tourney.  Yes, Enfield has brought in several solid recruiting classes since taking over, notably No. 7 in 2019, No. 18 in 2018 and No. 19 in 2014. No, it’s not quite Duke, which has had four top classes and six top-three in that span, but it’s solid nonetheless. The parallels, while parallel, aren’t exact. Helton’s seat was hotter entering the season, his team wasn’t as good, the cold stretch was longer, the letdowns were more letdown-y.  Let’s start with the tangible ramifications of the matchup, because there are plenty, and they all tie back into Enfield. After USC’s huge wins against Arizona and Arizona State, I’ve heard a lot of people claim the Trojans now need to win just one more game to get into the Big Dance, whether that win comes Saturday at Galen or next week in Vegas. That seems awfully overgenerous and oversimplified. Yes, UCLA has been playing great basketball recently, and a win would certainly stand out on the Trojans’ resume. But if USC were to knock off UCLA at home but then lose to some subpar team like Washington or Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 tourney, is that really enough? Can the selection committee accept a team which has not only failed to pick up a truly impressive win away from home all year, but has also shown an inability to take care of a conference bottom feeder when the stakes are high? Look, I really don’t like framing other USC sports teams in the context of the football program, but this one just feels too obvious. The Trojans started off the season hot and looked promising, then hit a cold stretch in the middle of the season. Eventually, they got out of it, but not before fans started calling for the job (or head, in football’s case) of the head coach. Then they picked it up at the end of the season and set themselves up for a huge showdown against their most hated rival.  But one thing about this game that shouldn’t fly under the radar of USC fans (but probably will fly under the radar of those in control at Heritage Hall) is how Saturday could change the fate of head coach Andy Enfield. And what do the Trojans have to show for it? Two March Madness appearances? Two combined wins in those tournaments — one of them coming in the First Four? What good is strong recruiting when it doesn’t turn into wins?  But if USC can take care of UCLA and earn a spot in the second round in Vegas — whether that’s via a bye or a first-round win — the Trojans will be sitting in the driver’s seat for cracking March Madness. It will also put Enfield in the driver’s seat for keeping his job. And while the topic hasn’t been publicized much, if athletic director Mike Bohn and other department officials haven’t started having conversations about Enfield’s future with the program, well, they should.  I understand this team is young and inexperienced. But in today’s college basketball landscape, that’s what coaches have to deal with. What plagues this team at times is indiscipline, and that has to be an indictment on the coaching staff.  But Bohn’s apparent approach to the situation was telling. Like he said in his introductory press conference at John McKay Center Nov. 7, good programs finish strong.  But that’s the problem: They haven’t made the tournament since 2017. And if this year’s group can’t do it, there has to be a long look into whether the program is under the right leadership.  And that starts tomorrow. Nathan Ackerman is a sophomore writing about sports. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Courtside,” runs every Friday. Enfield and the Trojans have established themselves as a good program. But they have to finish strong.  One coach came out on top in that regular season finale, and I hold that had he not, he’d have been long gone. The other, we’ll see.  On the surface, this looks like an unquestionably successful season for a team that isn’t known as a traditional NCAA basketball powerhouse. The Trojans are 21-9 and have played themselves into the conversation for the NCAA Tournament, which they haven’t made since 2017.last_img read more

Have a Marvel-ous time at Sunrise ComicCon!

first_imgThe first-ever Sunrise ComicCon will take place this Sunday, August 12, from noon to 7:00 p.m. at the Sunrise Civic Center (10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard). Fans of super heroes, sci-fi and fantasy are invited to take part in this family-friendly event. Highlights include:Cosplay ContestArtists & AuthorsPanels & DemosFood TrucksVendors60+ Open-Play Gaming SystemsSuper Smash Bros. 4 for Wii U Tournament ($5 player fee)Special Guests:“Epic Voice Guy” Jon BaileyComics legend Allen BellmanCracked publisher Captain CartoonArtist, Author and Animator SilverbackVisit www.sunrisefl.gov/comiccon for a complete schedule and vendor list. Save big by reserving your spot early! Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Call (954) 747-4646 or visit www.sunrisefl.gov/tickets.html. If you do wait ‘til Sunday to purchase your tickets, bring cash ($20 bills or smaller) to experience the shortest wait time. Small-bill cash purchases can be made at booths 213, 226, and 242. Credit card (Visa/MC/Discover/Amex) and large-bill ($50 or greater) ticket purchases must be made at the Box Office. Bought online and need to pick up a wrist band? Head to booth 213, 226, or 242!Sunrise ComicCon is sponsored by Supercon, Loot Comics & Games, Random Ramblings Productions, and Silverback.last_img read more

#Donkomi: Ademola Lookman leaves Everton for RB Leipzig

first_img Source: Goal.com 21-year-old, Ademola Lookman has completed a permanent deal to join the Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig on a five-year contract.The deal is reported to be worth £22 million ($27m) as he switches from Everton to the German club.The youngster joined the Toffees in January 2017 but spent the half of the season with Leipzig where he now joins on a permanent deal.Ademola Lookman netted five goals in eleven appearances during his short spell with Leipzig.Lookman has told Leipzig’s official website on securing a switch to the Red Bull Arena:“I am very happy to be back here and would like to continue where I left off in the second half of 2018 for RB Leipzig.“Of course, I am also looking forward to seeing my team-mates again and would like to help the team to continue to celebrate great successes.“Finally I can play again in the Red Bull Arena in front of this great backdrop and the fans. And last but not least, I would like to thank God, the fans and RB Leipzig for making my move possible.”last_img read more

Obwaka Trial Pushed Back to Later Date

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThere were some changes made in the case of the priest accused of raping another priest. Monday Obwaka’s trial was pushed back until a late date. The Catholic priest was scheduled to go to trial on May 15, 16, and 17th, but those dates have changed.One reason that the trial is being pushed back is because of the second victim. That victim is in Kenya and the incident regarding that victim was around 2002, 2003. A pretrial date has been now set for May 15th. It was revealed that the second victim contacted the Catholic Diocese in Gaylord via email claiming that they too had an encounter with Obwaka.Bond was discussed Monday. Obwaka’s attorney requested bond be set at $100,000 but the judge said Obwaka’s bond had to be over $500,000 but real estate could be used.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Obwaka Trial, Rev. Sylvester ObwakaContinue ReadingPrevious ‘Break a Leg’ 5k Fundraiser Happening This Upcoming WeekendNext Car Accident Turns Into an Arrestlast_img read more