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March 16, 2016

Andy Enfield

Raleigh, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We're now ready to begin Coach Enfield's portion of the USC press conference and we'll just go ahead and open the floor up for question. So, any questions for Coach.

Q. Apparently USC and FGCU locker rooms are near each other. Someone Tweeted out the photo. Did you almost walk into the wrong room?
ANDY ENFIELD: It's great to have them. Congratulations to FGCU. It's awesome they're back in the Tournament and congratulations to the team and coaching staff.

Q. Coaches aren't allowed to openly root, but are you allowed to cheer in the 1-16 game on the other side of yours?
ANDY ENFIELD: Put it this way, we'd love to play them in the second round.

Q. Because of the 16 or because of your roots?
ANDY ENFIELD: That means we won our game, too.

Q. What were your thoughts when you saw the bracket? Does the Committee have a sense of humor or flair?
ANDY ENFIELD: I'm not sure. We're thrilled to be in the NCAA Tournament and compete for a national championship. It's great to see FGCU in it as well. The fact they're here, it will be nice to see some old familiar friends we haven't seen for a while. It's great for both of us.

Q. Coach, your players were talking about how much of a motivational guy you are much, how much of a players' coach you are. Coming in as a new coach in a program, especially with the past two years you guys have gone through, was it important to you that their confidence level was as high as it possibly could be in you and in the program?
ANDY ENFIELD: I think anytime you get to this level, you need players that achieve success in the offseason, and learn you how to win games during the season and they've done that. I have an excellent coaching staff that are all going to be great head coaches in Tony Bland, Jason Hart, Kevin Norris. Kurtis Shultz is our strength coach who really worked hard this offseason, and the biggest improvement we've seen this season is the bodies developing, they all had to put on 8 to 12 pounds of muscle in the offseason, the skill sets which our assistant coaches work with and the decision-making once we were in the games and then they had to learn how to win.

So I give credit to our players first of all and my staff. I'm only as good as my players and staff and I'm very, very thankful and appreciative of all of the hard work they've done.

Q. Just curious to know what you have seen on film already from Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil from Providence, and your thoughts on the abilities they have and how they might compare to players you have already seen this year?
ANDY ENFIELD: Kris Dunn is the Big East Player of the Year twice in a row and he's a special talent and Bentil is the leading scorer in the Big East. I think they're First Team All Big East selected by the coaches and media. They're excellent basketball players but the supporting cast is pretty good, too.

We're not just focused on two players. We're focused on the Providence team. We think they're as good as any team we played this year and we have a lot of respect for them. It will be a very challenging game for us match-up-wise but as far as comparing them to other players or teams, we played in one of the deepest conferences in the United States, so we've seen about everything this year. But we think Providence is just a tremendous basketball team.

Q. The guys were in here a little earlier saying they felt like maybe some people on the outside didn't see a breakout coming but they felt they were in for a good year at the start. Did you see quite this sort of season coming as you were going through practice in October and November?
ANDY ENFIELD: Well, that's the plan. We never wavered as a coaching staff, what our plan was at USC to build a program with young talented players that want to be at USC, to want to be the reason we're here right now and our players are the reason.

We were excited as a staff about our young talented players. We've had two recruiting classes and they've performed. But we needed a lot of development. If you look at our record, we lost 20 games last year, lost a lot of close games. We weren't good enough to win those games. They've made a commitment to buy into the team concept. We were excited in the preseason; we saw a maturity level and, as I just mentioned, with Kurtis Shultz, our strength coach, their bodies look different. They competed and they knew they could be a good team this year.

And then as we went into the season, they won a few games early, got some confidence and really competed in a -- just a terrific league in the PAC-12 this year, played a lot of good teams and I was very proud of the way they hung in games and were able to win some of the games and even if we lost, we just competed for 40 minutes.

So I'm thrilled to have 21 victories to be in the NCAA Tournament at this stage but once again, it's because of what our players did in the offseason and learned how to win while we're here.

Q. Andy, independent of your game, now you are the coach of one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. What do you think is very important for a 15 seed or 16 seed to be able to pull off an upset of that proportion in this tournament?
ANDY ENFIELD: I think number one, you have to believe you can win. And number two, you have to have talented players and then they have to play well. They to rise to the occasion. Your better players have to play great games and I think you've seen that in the NCAA Tournament probably in the history of the Tournament where, if there is a big upset in that discrepancy in the seeding, it's because the better players in that low seed have played great games and they believed and had confidence.

So I'm not sure there's a magic formula for it. If there was, I don't know it. But I think the parity in college basketball right now, you'll probably see a lot of upsets in this tournament and I think that's the reason you see so many upsets during the regular season. There's a lot of good players in this country. Just because you're at a mid-major school doesn't mean you can't compete with the power confesses.

Q. Coach, I'm curious if Kris Dunn compares to any of the point guards in your league? Obviously you have a lot of good guards in the PAC-12?
ANDY ENFIELD: I think he compares to our two point guards Julian Jacobs and Jordan McLaughlin. Julian was First Team All League and leading the league in assists. Jordan was our leading scorer, fourth in the league in steals and fifth in the league in assists. I think Kris and Julian and Jordan were a lot alike where they see the floor, they make great plays for their teammates and score the ball for themselves.

Q. Andy, how important was that run a couple years ago. Not only for you, but that program. It seems to me it's kind of life-changing for both.
ANDY ENFIELD: FGCU? Well, after FGCU is a special place. It's a newer university. And they have great leadership there with president in Ken Kavanagh, the athletic director and their whole administration. I think what you're seeing is building an athletic department that Ken has done and he's got great support and great people to work with him and they great coaches there.

So, if you look at FGCU across the board, the thing that impressed me, it's very similar to USC. You see all of the sports at FGCU and USC, whether tennis or golf or swimming, baseball, et cetera all of the sports are successful. I think our job when we went to FGCU with the basketball program, try to elevate that to the rest of the sports. The same thing with USC. USC basketball had a lot of peaks and valleys over the last 60, 70 years. There's been a lot of great coaches and great teams at USC over the last few decades. Our goal is to try to elevate that program to other sports. If you look at USC, it's tremendous success at everything, 21 sports.

Our goal is to try to elevate the program to where the rest of the school is or was and to develop a program with sustainability to try to get that success and sustain it, and we're on our way, similar to what we did at FGCU. I give them a lot of credit. I was just a small part of what they're doing and what they have done at FGCU, same at USC. But our basketball program, our players deserve the credit for being here in such a short period of time and we have everyone coming back -- I should say most players coming back next year. Our goal is build this thing and sustain its success.

Q. Can you see the style that you played in Florida transferring to the PAC-12 as much as it did? Obviously, it's a different league, different level, but can you play that open, that fun?
ANDY ENFIELD: Have you seen our team play yet?

Q. I haven't seen them enough.
ANDY ENFIELD: You should probably get some game film and you tell me. No, I'm just joking. We're top 10 in the nation in scoring. We lead the league in three-point shooting and we have a lot of dunks. We have six players averaging double figures. We spread the floor and play the same style.

To get to 21 wins it's our system, it's our identity as far as sharing the basketball. I'm proud of our players buying into the team concept offensively. We're third in the PAC-12 in field-goal percentage opponents against us. We're top ten in the nation in blocked shots. We steal the ball fourth in the league. So our defense is much improved this year, and that's the reason we're able to get out and run against certain teams because you have to defend. You can't take the ball out of the basket every time because they're making a shot and trying to run on teams.

So, we've done our part. We're not perfect at it, but that's who we try to be and have been very successful for the most part.

Q. Such a short turnaround to the second round, advanced scouting is always part of the process for the staff. Will there be an advanced scout on a 16 seed? Will that be a little part of the process?
ANDY ENFIELD: Well, we are not taking any team for granted. We'll do our due diligence and we'll have our favorites when we watch that Carolina-FGCU game right before ours. Right now we're worried about Providence. Providence is such a good team, so talented, so well-coached that we're not even thinking about the second round right now. We're thinking of the Providence Friars and how good they are.

Q. I wonder if you can offer any thoughts how they've evolved and making it work in a new direction with what seems to be a defense emphasis first and foremost?
ANDY ENFIELD: Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to see them play just because of time difference because we're so wrapped up in what we're trying to do. I certainly respect Coach Dooley and the staff. Michael Fly, who was on our staff, is still there. They're great coaches and they run a great program. They are different styles and I really don't know what to say because I haven't seen them play. I do know they're a very good team and I'm very happy for them.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? All right. Coach, thank you very much and good luck tomorrow.

ANDY ENFIELD: Thank you.

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