Blog Entry

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Posted on: June 20, 2009 1:37 pm

USC athletic director Mike Garrett clearly never consulted Jerryd Bayless on this hire.

Or anybody at Arizona, for that matter.

And if USC was hoping to get some attention with the announcement of its new basketball coach, well, the school sure accomplished that goal. But I'm not certain this is the type of attention it needed, the type of attention that bringing Kevin O'Neill to campus is sure to bring. The reason the hiring came out of nowhere Saturday is because nobody really thought any college would be anxious to lure O'Neill back to the NCAA, particularly the Pac-10. Nothing against his coaching skills, but O'Neill's way of doing things almost never leaves admirers in his trail.

Rather, he goes somewhere.


People start to hate him.

Then he moves on.

Fair or not, that's the track record.

That's why Bayless publicly criticized him after the one year O'Neill spent at Arizona filling in for Lute Olson, one of the reasons Arizona opted not to make him Olson's permanent replacement. And that's also why this hire makes little sense on the surface, although it falls in line with the column I wrote Friday about how USC would be unable to hire Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon or any other established name.

The school missed on Dixon twice.

The school also missed on UNLV's Lon Kruger.

And now the school has settled on ... Kevin O'Neill?


Somewhere, Jerryd Bayless is laughing.

Because history suggests this probably won't end well.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:04 am

Right Move for Now

I think that USC is going to get hurt in the NCAA basketball investigation, and Mike Garrett knows it already.  Hiring a Marquis coach at a top salary, and then not being able to field the best possible team for up to three years, would not make any sense at all.  Of course, what top name coach is going to want to come into the program at this point?  You have no team, no recruits, and it will not get better anytime soon.

O'Neill is just a bookmark until the sanctions pass.  If he keeps his .500 average, no harm, no foul.  If he fails, he is just that much easier to let go later.  He wanted to get back to the NCAA, so here we find him.  If he does a great job, then who knew?

Three years from now, USC will be back in the market for a good head coach.  Until then, it is just "hurry up; and wait!"

Go Trojans, Fight On!

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2009 7:29 am

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

The only thing that can be better than this?  When the other NCAA shoe drops on the USC foosball program.
Consider this one as one additional gasp of air for Coach Pete.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2009 10:27 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

USC is really rolling the dice here. They were obviously not interested in hiring Theus. He has never been great as a head coach anywhere.  He seems destined to become an NBA assistant eventually. USC looks to be getting hammered here in more ways than one.

Since: Jun 12, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2009 6:34 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Parrish hit the nail on the head.  I was speechless when I saw O'Neill was hired by USC.  I was also happy as an Arizona fan because I know USC won't be much of a competitor in the Pac-10.  The only thing I can compare this hiring to is when Livengood hired John Mackovic to coach the Arizona football team.  I was living in Texas when Mackovic was coach of the Longhorns and when he was fired I never thought he could coach at a Div I or BCS school again.  When Arizona hired him, everyone of Texas just laughed because they knew what was in store for the Arizona football program.

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2009 6:09 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

What is wrong with this guy? In the short time I saw him leading Arizona 2 years ago, he seemed like a decent coach. Why does everyone hate on him? Just curious.....

Really?  He inherited a team with three first-round NBA picks in Bayless, Budinger and Hill with a solid supporting cast and did nothing with them.  He tries to run an NBA system in college, which doesn't work; runs the same play on every offensive possession.  Virtually every UA player ripped him apart after the season, saying he was impossible to play for.  As Parrish said in his article, everywhere he's gone he's left destruction in his wake.  He's had moderate success for short periods of time, but hasn't been able to sustain anything because the players hate playing for him.  Hell, Bayless even called the Grizzlies before the draft and told them that if they hired O'Neill AND drafted him, he'd sit out a year and re-enter the draft in order to not play for O'Neill.  He got run out of Marquette, run out of Tennessee and run out of Arizona.  Southern Cal obviously didn't learn a lesson, and as a UA fan and alumn, I'm going to enjoy this.  SC has hit bottom and has now starting digging.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2009 5:17 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

I think I will wait and see before I say anything about a hire no one likes. Everyone sounds like the day we hired P.C. as football coach !!! And we all know Bayless is one of the great basketball minds of all time ?

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2009 5:13 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Well said. I really don't know much about Kevin O'neill, except I thought he was at Marquette and didn't6do that bad a job, or maybe I am wrong.
I do like the premise that he was not afraid to deal with a bullyingBobby KNight, that alone makes his stock rise in my eyes.
Maybe it isn't so bad that a prima donna like Baylessdoesn't like him. I recall in coaching myself, years ago,a kid who saw the drills we were doing and decided hedidn't want to play. I didn't coddle him or go after him.
In the end he went nowhere, which is likely what will happen to Bayless, though he is a heck of a COLLEGEtalent.
Good luck O'Neill, John Calipari is proof that the playersdon't have to like you for you to win.

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2009 4:40 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Hoosierfan...i like you wonder why everyone hates on this guy.   If i remember correctly, about 10 years back he was coaching northwestern in a game against bobby knight.  Knight got in his dish about northwestern fans being rude, in the bullying way knight does like pointing a finger in his face and yellin.  O neil didn't back down, in fact he went after knight.  He's the only person ive ever seen stand up to that primadonna and for that i would hire him.  I imagine most players don't like him because he doesnt coddle them.  Should O'neil cares what a guy like bayliss says?  That kid has no loyalty.  He only stayed one year at zona.  Does bayliss need his coach to baby him?  Pull your pants up Jared, play your one year and move on. 

Cobra_ Kai
Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2009 3:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2009 3:29 pm

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Guess O'Neil is willing to go through the post-season ban. Gonna be USC's coach for a while.

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