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Category: Tim Floyd

Lakers assistants talk about USC job ... sort of

Coaches_500 Jim Cleamons seemed intrigued about the idea of coaching USC's basketball team, while Brian Shaw was ready to side-step the issue when The Times' Broderick Turner approached the two Lakers' assistants Tuesday night.

Cleamons said his focus right now is on helping the Lakers win the NBA championship following a 108-104 loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 3.

But he also said, "I think USC is one of the best jobs in the country. But I'm trying to help us win a championship, first and foremost."

Shaw preferred not to talk about the Trojans' job, saying, "right now, I just want to concentrate on helping the Lakers win a championship."

-- Chris Foster

Left photo: Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times. Right photo: Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

USC's answer to basketball coach might be up the street

Open the Floyd gates ....

Tim Floyd's sudden resignation as USC's basketball coach will set in motion the rumor mill (now, John Wooden is not interested in the job). It also leaves Athletic Director Mike Garrett with a bit of a problem --almost every competent (and even incompetent) college coach already has a job, and a half-empty Galen Center that sits in the shadow of all that UCLA has done on the basketball court isn't going to pry Mike Krzyzewski away from Duke.

What to do, what to do ...

Well, the answer might be taking a walk up Figueroa Avenue.

Lakers assistants Jim Cleamons and Brian Shaw could have interest, and it would seem a face-saving move by Garrett, especially if the Lakers win the NBA title. Any success achieved with the rubble that was once the Trojan basketball program would look good on a resume.

-- Chris Foster

USC releases statement on Tim Floyd's resignation as men's basketball coach

Tim Floyd during an April press conference announcing that he would stay on as USC's men's basketball coach despite flirting with a job offer at Arizona. Two months later, he has resigned from the Trojan job.

Full news release from USC:

The University of Southern California today announced that its men's basketball coach, Tim Floyd, has resigned.

In his letter of resignation, which was published by the Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Mississippi, Mr. Floyd stated, “As of 1:00 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Southern California. I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the university, as well as the chance to know and work with some of the finest young men in college athletics. Unfortunately, I no longer feel I can offer the level of enthusiasm to my duties that is deserved by the university, my coaching staff, my players, their families, and the supporters of the University of Southern California. I always promised myself and my family that if I ever felt I could no longer give my full enthusiasm to a job, that I should leave it to others who could. I intend to contact my coaching staff and my players in coming days and weeks to tell them how much each of them means to me. I wish the best to USC and to my successor.”

USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett accepted Mr. Floyd’s resignation and said that he will quickly begin the search for a new head basketball coach.  Mr. Garrett stated: “I accept Tim’s decision and wish him well.”

Todd Dickey, Senior Vice President - Administration said, “The University is cooperating fully in the continuing investigation with the NCAA and Pac-10 into all allegations of NCAA and Pac-10 rules violations at USC.  The University, the NCAA and Pac-10 have jointly conducted interviews of approximately 50 witnesses. No conclusions have yet been reached.

“At this point,” he stated, “it would be both inappropriate and premature to comment further.”

Photo: Tim Floyd during an April news conference announcing that he would stay on as USC's men's basketball coach despite flirting with a job offer at Arizona. Two months later, he has resigned from the Trojans job. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press.

No reason to wait for NCAA report on USC Hoops -- it's over

It doesn't really matter now what the NCAA does -- or doesn't do -- to USC basketball.

OK, it does. If the NCAA comes down hard on the program in the case of O.J. Mayo, there will be scholarship losses, vacated games, history to be written and a lot of explaining to do.

In a sense, though, the basketball program as it wobbles now is effectively finished -- and you get the sense embattled Coach Tim Floyd knows it.

Sometimes, all it takes is the specter of scandal to bring a kingdom down. People are fleeing USC so fast you would have thought Floyd's fast-break had been replaced with a swine flu outbreak.

This isn't a SMU-like death penalty sentence for USC; it's a death watch sentence.

Floyd delivered the quote of the year Monday night at a Trojan booster affair in Pasadena -- and nothing needs boasted more right now than USC basketball.

"Kansas has two players who would have been NBA lottery picks, Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, and they are returning to school," Floyd said. "Our guys get an offer from Islamabad and they're gone."

The veil of possible NCAA sanctions has decimated Floyd's plans of building USC into a national powerhouse. It's incredible to think how quickly it dissolved. Daniel Hackett had the ball and was on his way to the game-tying basket in a second-round NCAA regional game against Michigan State.

USC basketball lost control of the program not long after Hackett lost control of the ball. Michigan State escaped with the win, advanced all the way to the NCAA finals and will likely be preseason No.1 next year.

USC was talked about as a possible Top-10 pick, if all the pieces came together.

Instead, USC went all Humpty Dumpty.

Hackett, DeMar DeRozan and Taj Gibson all declared for the NBA draft. When fresh reports surfaced about Floyd allegedly handing Mayo an envelope containing $1,000, the situation became toxic.

Recruits are starting to get Steve Martin happy feet. Renardo Sidney, a shaky prospect in the best of institutional control times, bailed to Mississippi State. USC lost a medial supply company: Johnson & Johnson. Marcus opted to turn pro (Hello team Islamabad?) even after receiving a sixth year of NCAA eligibility. Noel, a top recruit, was granted his release.

If you think opposing coaches aren't using the potential NCAA sanctions against USC, well, silly you.

Days, or weeks, or months before the NCAA renders its verdict, USC basketball, as you knew it, is dead. The Trojans would be silly to fire Floyd now because, the way things are falling now, you can just let gravity take its course.

It's over for USC basketball -- even IF the NCAA clears Floyd of wrongdoing.

In the 1980s, after being acquitted of larceny and fraud charges, former U.S. Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan famously remarked: "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

Same for Tim Floyd. No matter what happens, it's too late. USC's mission statement now has to be to save football at all cost -- even if the price is basketball.

It's beyond nuance and subtext now -- everything's gone straight to CYOB.

This summer will be spent waiting for the NCAA to report ... on USC football.

The report on USC basketball is already in.

-- Chris Dufresne


USC's Floyd tired of hoops foreign aide

USC basketball Coach Tim Floyd expressed his displeasure with those he thinks lure college players into turning pro too soon. During USC's Coaches Tour 2009, Floyd noted, "Kansas has two players who would have been NBA lottery picks, Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, and they are returning to school. Good for them. Our guys get an offer from Islamabad and they’re gone.”

USC has had eight players jump early during Floyd's four seasons, four of which were this year. That includes forward Marcus Johnson, who played 16 games as a reserve and averaged 3.6 points. Still, one could point out that Floyd's program has been significantly enhanced by one-and-done players such as O.J. Mayo and DeMar DeRozan.

For more on Floyd's concerns about the future of his USC program go to later or see tomorrow's Los Angeles Times.

-- Chris Foster

Check out USC, UCLA draft hopefuls on ESPNU; Lavin analyzes

If you're a UCLA or USC basketball fan, do you want Jrue Holiday and DeMar DeRozan to do well this week at the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago? Or do you secretly hope the freshmen flame out and have to come skulking back to college, forced to play a second year on campus for Ben Howland and Tim Floyd?

ESPNU will offer coverage of the May 28-29 draft combine. On Thursday, coverage will start at 11 a.m. for three hours, with two more hours beginning at 8 a.m. Friday. Former UCLA Coach Steve Lavin will be on hand to offer analysis along with Jay Williams, Chad Ford and Andy Katz. Mike Gleason will host the show. Also expected is Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, who might well be the Clippers' pick at No. 1 in all the draft. Clipper fans will not want Griffin to flame out.

-- Diane Pucin

Former USC basketball player shares more on Tim Floyd and O.J. Mayo

USC's Chris Penrose (10) as a senior. He doesn't buy Louis Johnson's allegations against coach Tim Floyd involving Rodney Guillory and O.J. Mayo. While graduation ceremonies were held on USC's campus this Friday, alumnus Chris Penrose was working up Figueroa in a downtown L.A. office high rise. As a former member of the Trojan's basketball team, he took some time to share his perspective on recent allegations that coach Tim Floyd handed money to O.J. Mayo's handler.

Penrose made the squad as a walk-on before Tim Floyd set foot on campus, and continued for two years under the current Trojan coach. He served as a recruiting host and helped new players (including Mayo) move in and get accustomed to college life during his final summer on campus.

In the interview, Penrose talks about seeing Rodney Guillory around the dorms, what it was like inside Mayo's room, what he thinks of Louis Johnson, and how the school's compliance office educates players on NCAA rules.

-- Adam Rose

Besides being a former player and a writer for WeAreSC, what's your official relationship with the USC basketball program right now?

I have no other relationship with the school. I was a student there, I played basketball there for four years. I still have friends who go to school there. Obviously I'm very close with everyone in the athletic department and USC basketball program, but there are no official ties in terms of employment or anything like that.

You've spoken on ESPN radio about Louis Johnson's allegation that Tim Floyd gave money to Rodney Guillory on Valentine's Day of 2007, and pointed out that it was a travel day for the basketball team. The team's itinerary indicates that practice at USC was in the early afternoon and the plane left a few hours later. With those parameters, a morning meeting seems feasible. Why don't you think it couldn't have happened on a travel day?

Continue reading »

USC insider speaks out about Tim Floyd and O.J. Mayo

USC's Chris Penrose as a senior. He doesn't buy Louis Johnson's allegations against coach Tim Floyd involving Rodney Guillory and O.J. Mayo. USC has a strict policy against commenting on active investigations, so we won't hear anything official about Louis Johnson's recent allegations that basketball coach Tim Floyd gave cash to Rodney Guillory, one of O.J. Mayo's handlers.

But we've got the next best thing thanks to a tip from Conquest Chronicles, a blog closely monitoring the situation.

Chris Penrose, a former Trojan basketball walk-on from 2003 to 2007 (Floyd began joined USC in 2005), is a writer for and posted his initial reactions to the allegations:

The date that was given for Coach Floyd personally handing money to RG conflicts with a practice that we had before we caught a flight to Tucson to play U of A the next day.

I dont think any college basketball coach in the country would meet an advisor of a recruit to give them money in a public, well documented place like BH [Beverly Hills].

I was Coach’s right hand man during my senior year with all our new recruits (since I was going to be a GA [Graduate Assistant] with the team the next year), I knew all the ins and outs of O’s recruitment. There was nothing that we or the university itself did that was illegal AT ALL!!!

It's tough to say if the travel schedule ruled out a morning rendezvous, but maybe there's proof in USC's travel records. It would be nice if somebody produces a paper trail ... the team's schedules, somebody's cellphone or credit card bills ... something. In the meantime, Penrose says, "This entire thing is comical."

-- Adam Rose

Photo: USC's Chris Penrose as a senior. He doesn't buy Louis Johnson's allegations against coach Tim Floyd involving Rodney Guillory and O.J. Mayo. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

On further review, how ESPN played it on USC's Tim Floyd

Everyone is entitled to mistakes.

Or at least entitled to hiding their mistakes.

Consider ESPN's coverage of Arizona's attempts to woo USC basketball coach Tim Floyd.

On Wednesday, after word leaked that Floyd was in Tucson, ESPN's website carried this:

Tim Floyd will be named basketball coach at Arizona, Mark Asher of Sports 620 KTAR, ESPN's radio affiliate in Phoenix, is reporting according to multiple sources.

On Thursday, after Floyd announced he was staying at USC, the site ran this:

Floyd met Wednesday afternoon with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood and was offered the job, according to Mark Asher of Sports 620 KTAR, ESPN's radio affiliate in Phoenix.

ESPN's reputation seems a little KTARnished there.

-- Chris Foster

USC's Floyd may be first upwardly mobile Trojan coach

Tim2 The USC basketball job has never been a stepping-stone position.

Coach Tim Floyd, who is pondering an offer from Arizona, may change that. Trojans' fans may not care to hear it, but Arizona's 25 consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, four Final Four appearances and 1997 national title trumps USC's history.

Sure, the Trojans have gone to two Final Fours ... in 1954 and 1940. So getting the Arizona job is a step up. Former USC coaches haven't been so fortunate.

Henry Bibby's next job was with the L.A. Sparks.

Raveling Charlie Parker landed an assistant job with the Dallas Mavericks.

George Raveling went to work for Nike.

Stan Morrison took over the San Jose State program.

Bob Boyd's next coaching venture was Chapman College.

Forrest Twogood moved on to an administration job at USC.

The only ones who left after a winning season were Raveling (16-12 in 1994) and Boyd (20-9 in 1979).

So the silver lining, if Floyd chooses to leave, is USC finally hired a coach a bigger program wants.

— Chris Foster

Top photo: USC Coach Tim Floyd. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Left photo: Former USC Coach George Raveling in 1992. Credit: Otto Greule / Allsport

USC Name Game begins even before Tim Floyd makes decision

The ink isn't dry on Arizona's offer to Tim Floyd, and he hasn't signed as far as we know, but speculation has begun on who would succeed him as USC's basketball coach.

1. Tim Floyd: He said last year that USC would be his last job coaching college basketball, and he made an impassioned plea to USC players this week to stay and help take the team to next year's Final Four. He didn't seem like a man who had another job in mind.

2. Jamie Dixon: Wouldn't that be fun? Dixon is UCLA Coach Ben Howland's best friend. It would be a perfect fit. The Pitt coach is from North Hollywood and a member of the Screen Actor's Guild. But he is locked into a contract until 2013, and the buyout probably would be steep.

3. Reggie Theus: The Inglewood native had success in two seasons at New Mexico State, taking the Aggies to the NCAA tournament the second season. But then he was lured by the money and had a disastrous and short tenure as the Sacramento Kings coach. With his savoir faire, he would certainly dress up the Trojans sideline.

4. Randy Bennett: He's been great at St. Mary's and has flirted with the Pac 10 before, when jobs came open at Cal and Oregon State. His contract runs out after the 2013 season. His buyout might not be as difficult to negotiate as Dixon's.

5. Michael Cooper: The Daily News reported he's in line for the USC women's job. Cooper has told his current employer, the Sparks, that it's just a rumor. But it's possible he would be interested in the men's job.

6. Rick Majerus: Kidding. USC has been there and done that, for about 48 hours. That was enough, apparently for both sides.

-- Randy Harvey


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