October 17, 2013 by Seth Rubinroit
By Seth Rubinroit
USC was picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12 Conference, according to members of the media who cover Pac-12 basketball.
What does that mean? “Nothing” is such a harsh word; let’s just go with barely anything.
The Pac-12 is quick to tell you that the media has correctly picked the Conference winner 12 times in the last 21 tries. While it might be obvious who the top team is (and few would argue it’s not Arizona), it is difficult to order the rest of the squads, especially when the number of media members who could have an intelligent conversation about USC’s point guard rotation could likely be counted on one hand.
Coach Andy Enfield was justifiably quick to dismiss the media poll at Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco on Thursday.
“We think we have enough talent on our roster to compete with any team in the Pac-12,” Enfield said. “I’ve been picked low or down in the conference before, and there’s nothing better than to overachieve in the media’s eyes or to win some games that you think–or people think–you’re not supposed to win.”
The big news surrounding USC was Enfield’s jab towards UCLA, which went viral and even landing on SportsCenter:
The comment was overheard at a USC practice. And people wonder why Enfield had already decided to close most of practice to the media.
“I don’t use a lot of profanity to motivate my players, but I do use sarcasm,” Enfield said. “What I say in the locker room and on the practice court to my team is meant for my team only.”
USC brought senior guard J.T. Terrell to Pac-12 Media Day, and he discussed his relationship with the UCLA players.
“During the game, it’s very intense,” Terrell said. “After the game, it’s just usually a lot of group texts talking a little bit of junk about who won and whatnot.”
USC opens the Enfield era on November 8 at Utah State. Until then, all rankings are essentially meaningless.
“To me, [the Pac-12 has] never had more depth than we have this year as a conference,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “I don’t think there’s a big difference between our team and six or seven others.”