For USC head basketball coach Andy Enfield, it all came full circle Monday night, just not in the way he would have hoped.
USC lost its opening game of the 2022-2023 college basketball season, falling 74-61 to Florida Gulf Coast.
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Enfield, who is in his 10th season as head coach of the Trojans, made his name as head coach of FGCU during the 2012-13 season, when he led the Eagles to the Sweet 16 – the first 15-seed to ever advance to a Sweet 16.
“I thought we were prepared to play tonight, but it didn’t look like it,” Enfield said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s on me.”
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USC held a one-point lead at halftime, but they went cold in the second half, at one point trailing by as much as 20.
“Our offense just went into a deep freeze,” Enfield said.
The Eagles forced 15 USC turnovers and out-rebounded the Trojans 46-35, including 16-7 on the offensive glass.
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“Obviously, you talk about Coach Enfield, what he did in the two years he was at FGCU: He put us on the map,” Florida Gulf Coast coach Pat Chambers told ESPN after Monday’s win. “I think we’re all grateful for him for what he did. And now we’re the keeper of the flame.”
Enfield put FGCU on the map with its run to the Sweet 16 in 2012-13, with applications to the school increasing by 88% the year after the Eagles’ run, according to ESPN.
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USC went 26-7 last season, losing to Miami in the first round of the NCAA tournament.