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: Jun 20, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2009 2:55 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.....

Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2009 2:48 pm

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

As I mentioned in a post, this is a ridiculous move by USC, and Parrish, you said it well.
I really thought Theus was a good choice, especially in sunny California and close to Laker Land. O'Neill is not that good of a coach, and he showed that when he took decent talent and basically lucked out that ASU choked to USC in the Conference championships in 2008. Had ASU won that game, UA would not have made it to the tournament, and it is possible that the Wildcats would have slid in obscurity.
Russ Pennell saved the program with marginal talent and gave UA enough time to throw $2 million a year for a good coach (though Livengood tried his best to finish the job he started by asking Tim Floyd to come to Tucson).
I saw this story this morning and started laughing, then realized it was true.
Now the Pac-10 looks like this: UCLA, Washington, ASU, UA, and Cal. The rest...will be the rest.

Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2009 2:48 pm

O'Neill probably didn't make huge demands...

... and Theus probably did.  Theus (or any coach in demand) would probably ask for a contract of at least six years, because U$C is going to get whacked hard by the NCAA for Tim Floyd's personal cash delivery.  U$C's roster is already a disaster with recruits fleeing like rats from a sinking ship.  Any coach with leverage would want a ton of money and at least six years guaranteed to clean up that toxic waste dump of a hoops program.

O'Neill probably didn't ask for that.  He wanted to be a college head coach badly enough, and he's probably happy with a reasonable salary and only the first couple of years guaranteed.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2009 2:15 pm

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

Something must be up with Reggie way he should have been passed over. He seemed like such a good fit for the city. Has the NBA experience, knows the area, recruits well.........guess that would just make too much sense?

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