Say this for Andy Enfield: he knows how to make headlines. The USC coach first came to national prominence while guiding Florida Gulf Coast to a thrilling, dunk-filled run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Now in Los Angeles, he’s trying to build up a long-struggling Trojans program while seizing attention away from UCLA — a traditional basketball power trying to find its own way under new coach Steve Alford.
According to the San Jose Mercury-News, Enfield stopped a recent USC scrimmage and told his players they weren’t executing his “Dunk City” offense the way he wanted.
“We play up-tempo basketball here,” he said. “If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.”
After the quote was picked up by the national media, Enfield clarified his intention on Thursday, saying that it was not intended for public consumption.
“I have a very sarcastic personality,” he said. “I don’t use a lot of profanity to motivate my players, but I do use sarcasm. I was very upset with my team that particular moment in practice. I blew my whistle, yelled a little bit, and that’s what came out of my mouth.
“It was meant to make a point about how we want to play and to use some sarcasm. It certainly was not to disrespect Steve or what he’s doing.”
Enfield and Alford will coach against each other for the first time on Jan. 5 at Pauley Pavilion.