Tag:Kevin O'Neill
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:41 pm

USC suspends O'Neill

Southern California has suspended coach Kevin O'Neill for the rest of the Pac-10 tournament because of an incident he had Thursday night with an Arizona fan at a downtown Los Angeles hotel, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.

Assistant Bob Cantu will coach the Trojans Friday night against Arizona in the Pac-10 semifinals.

A win could be enough to get the Trojans an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: March 11, 2011 10:05 am

O'Neill involved in incident with Arizona fans

Southern California coach Kevin O'Neill and his wife, Roberta, were involved in an incident with Arizona fans after the Trojans' win over California Thursday at a hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

O'Neill coached Arizona in the 2007-08 season.

USC athletic director Pat Haden has issued a statement.

"We have received some information ... about an incident involving coach Kevin O'Neill, his wife and a fan from another school that occurred following our men's basketball game [Thursday]," Haden said. "We are looking into this and gathering facts. We will determine what appropriate action is necessary."

USC is set to play Arizona in Friday's Pac-10 semifinals.

A win could be enough to get the Trojans an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Posted on: March 8, 2010 9:07 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2010 10:13 pm

USC's O'Neill fires two assistants

Southern California coach Kevin O'Neill has decided against retaining assistants Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson, leaving Bob Cantu as the only recruiting assistant from Tim Floyd's staff who is still at the school, a west coast source told CBSSports.com on Monday.

An official announcement is expected later this week.

It's unclear how O'Neill will fill the openings, though it's possible Tony Miller could be promoted into one of them. Miller played for O'Neill at Marquette in the 1990s. He is currently USC's strength and conditioning manager.

The Trojans finished 16-14 in O'Neill's first season.

Arnold and Johnson both spent five years at Southern California.
Posted on: June 23, 2009 7:28 am
Edited on: June 23, 2009 7:39 am

O'Neill's return trip to Arizona should be fun

You might've read how I was baffled by USC's hiring of Kevin O'Neill. But I explained in my second post about the subject that it was nothing personal against O'Neill, because though he is by all accounts tough to work with and play for, I've always found him to be more entertaining than boring, and that's the type of stuff that's important to me.

Take Monday's introductory press conference, for example.

I've seen lots of introductory press conferences, and most of them are lame. But O'Neill managed to say a few interesting things while responding to criticisms of his way of operating, specifically his way of treating people.

"Contrary to popular demand, I'm not Darth Vader," he said. "You would think I was slaying people every time you turn around. ... Over the years, I've been in situations where not all the players always like the coach. Well, guess what? The coaches don't like all the players sometimes either, especially when you're in rebuilding situations."

(Translation: I hate my players just as much as they hate me.)

My favorite moment was the jab at Arizona, i.e., the school that hired O'Neill as an assistant, named him Lute Olson's successor, let him coach a season and then kicked him out the door so that Olson could return (even though Olson never coached another game). O'Neill started by complimenting Olson, but he ended with a little shot.

"Lute deserved the opportunity to come back and be the coach; he had earned that over a Hall of Fame career," O'Neill said. "A lot of people said a lot of things after I left; I didn't say anything. I don't have any ill will or any bad feelings whatsoever, plus I ended up in a better job."


Now I'm not sure USC is a better job than Arizona, and there is nothing factual to base that on.

But what  I am sure of is that I like that O'Neill took the time to say it.

And what I can't wait for now is his first trip back to Tucson.
Posted on: June 20, 2009 6:50 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2009 6:52 pm

Some more thoughts on O'Neill

Searching around the web, it seems every national writer -- save those who tend to find the positive in each development, even when the positive doesn't exist -- believes USC's hiring of Kevin O'Neill is baffling because, you know, it just is. On a lot of different levels. But one thing I wanted to clarify is that basketball people don't frown upon O'Neill simply because he's a "disciplinarian," which is what some are suggesting. That's not quite it. There are lots of disciplinarians in this sport, but O'Neill is on an entirely different level. And if you want some background, I'd encourage you to click this link and read a profile written by the Commercial Appeal's Scott Cacciola last year right after O'Neill was hired as an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies.

There are some great stories in there.

Again, click this link and give it a read.

But before you do that, let me tell you one more reason why this isn't an ideal hire.

I know USC athletic director Mike Garrett loves defense (you saw the quote, right?). But hiring a "defensive" coach to work in Los Angeles and across town from Ben Howland is incredibly shortsighted. Understand, the only knock on Howland is that he's a "defensive" coach who doesn't offer his players enough offensive freedom; that's what those who recruit against him try to sell to recruits. Does it work? Not terribly well, it seems. But still, that's the perception and the knock. And rather than try to take advantage of it, USC hired a "defensive" coach who has a history of butting heads with pretty much everybody he coaches or works with.

Honestly, does that make any sense?

And just so you know, Kevin O'Neill has always been OK with me.

I find him quite funny, actually.

So this isn't personal.

But it would be disingenuous to suggest this hire makes much sense.

The only way it works is if O'Neill has changed everything about himself in the past year.
Posted on: June 20, 2009 1:37 pm

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

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.
Posted on: May 22, 2008 7:52 am
Edited on: May 22, 2008 8:03 am

O'Neill to reportedly join the Grizzlies

It seems Kevin O'Neill has found a new gig.

The Commercial Appeal is reporting that Arizona's former interim coach will serve as an assistant on Marc Iavaroni's staff with the Memphis Grizzlies next season. According to the paper, an official announcement could come as early as today.

O'Neill was reassigned within the Arizona program once Lute Olson returned in March. That move -- precipitated by a deteriorating relationship between Olson and O'Neill -- led to O'Neill landing in Memphis, where his apparent hiring is designed to help improve one of the worst defenses in the NBA.
Category: NCAAB
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