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March 22, 2021

Andy Enfield

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Hinkle Fieldhouse

USC Trojans

Postgame Media Conference

USC 85, Kansas 51

ANDY ENFIELD: On a personal note I'd like to dedicate this win to my father who passed away in September. He was a high school and ninth grade basketball coach in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. He meant a lot to me. I thought about him a lot. In fact, I saw a picture right before the game that my mother sent me at a table with his board out, his note cards from coaching. He was giving me some advice. But he was a total man-to-man coach. I'm sure he would have been very happy to see our zone tonight. Thank you, Dad, you meant a lot to me as a coach and as a father.

Secondly, I really want to thank CBS, Coach Mobley, Coach Hart, Coach Capko, and Coach Desmon. We were at lunch today. We were checking the scores. Coach Mobley pulled his phone out, on came the CBS studio, we're not sure where it was, but the two guys picked Kansas because they said USC basketball is so undisciplined they said, very undisciplined. So Kansas is going to win. Just imagine if we were disciplined.

We came out tonight, we were extremely hungry. The coaches were just as hungry as our players. So we're very, very happy the way our team played. Congratulations to Kansas, they're a terrific team. We were very, very nervous about playing them because they're so talented and they're so good defensively. I think in KenPom, the metrics, we were seventh in the nation and they were eighth coming into this game. Offensively we were 22 and Kansas was right there with us.

So we thought it would be a very, very close game. We're just happy that we played well enough to pull away.

But Kansas is just a tremendous program. Coach Self and his staff are terrific people. We're very fortunate to play well against them.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. We saw you walking off the court with your fists up pointing at the fans, enjoying the moment. What does it mean to you to return to the Sweet 16?

ANDY ENFIELD: This game meant a lot to our program and to our fans. USC basketball is on the rise. Over the last 80 years, it's been like a roller coaster, a lot of great players, great coaches, great teams, but we're trying to sustain the success, build the program and sustain the success.

Beating a team like Kansas to go to the Sweet 16 is a step in the right direction. We're very proud of our young men. Evan will be our sixth NBA player, last four years graduated 100% of our players on time. We're extremely proud of all our players in our program that they chose to come to USC to try to build a program. These guys are extremely successful in the classroom, off the court, and of course on the court as you saw tonight.

Q. Isaiah talked about how when this team is confident, he thinks no one in the country can beat you guys. Sure seemed like he was confident tonight. What has been the difference with him? How has that sort of seeped into the rest of the team?

ANDY ENFIELD: Isaiah Mobley has improved dramatically as a basketball player this whole season. He's our best defender interior. He's so smart defensively. He just made nine three-point shots in a row. He made four in the Pac-12 tournament, made one against Drake, and he made four tonight. So he made nine in a row. That's outstanding.

His inside-outside presence, his defense, he's just a terrific basketball player right now. We will need him to play like that if we want to advance any further.

Q. How much does the matchup with Oregon seem fitting at this point given the way the regular season standings finished?

ANDY ENFIELD: Oregon, we have a lot of respect for that team. Our whole league, Pac-12, we've been trying to tell you guys in the media for the last couple years the Pac-12 is really good. Last year was exceptional. This year the same. Last year we had 10 NBA Draft picks. This year our teams are very, very good.

So I think you've seen that. So to play Oregon in the Sweet 16, honestly I wish we were playing a team from another conference. I'm not sure how we're meeting them in the Sweet 16, but the good thing is one of the Pac-12 teams, either USC or Oregon, will be in the Elite 8. Dana Altman and his staff do a tremendous job. They were 14-4 in the league, we were 15-5 this year. I think it will be a great college basketball game, whenever that day is, I have no idea when we're playing yet, but I'm assuming it's on the weekend.

Q. When you get both Isaiah and Evan playing like they did tonight, how difficult are they to stop? How much does that give the rest of your team an opportunity to relax, get confidence?

ANDY ENFIELD: Well, Evan and Isaiah are two big parts of our team. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Tonight Isaiah played great. But Evan gets all the focus of the opposing defenses. He's so hard to guard because he can go inside, outside, he can put the ball on the floor. But Isaiah is equally as skilled. He just doesn't have the length and explosiveness as his brother.

Isaiah is figuring out ways, as you saw, to shoot the three-point shot, to get angles, to be more efficient with his offensive game. I think you've really seen that the last few games with Isaiah.

So it's great to have Evan and Isaiah play at high levels because they lead us in the interior. Then we had Chevez Goodwin come in tonight and had 10 points off the bench. Our big guys are just playing outstanding basketball.

Q. I asked Isaiah something similar earlier, but how tough is it on these players, you and your staff for that matter, to be in this tightly controlled environment? Is there anything that you or the players are doing to keep yourselves entertained? More importantly, how are you staying locked in for this next game against Oregon?

ANDY ENFIELD: We've been in a hotel for 13 straight days now. We went outside 2 days ago for 10 minutes. We saw the sunshine literally for about 10 minutes. I actually enjoy coming to the games. The last two games, it's the only time we get outside, to walk to the bus. We'll really enjoy that 30-second walk from the bus to our hotel tonight.

As far as entertainment goes, we've really enjoyed watching the Pac-12 win all these tournament games. That's how we keep ourselves entertained. We're locked up in our rooms, we just turn the tournament on, watch the Pac-12 do well. That's our entertainment.

We have really no interaction other than our team meals, our team meetings, and practice and shootaround. Our players and staff are separated or isolated in their own room. It is challenging. To see your family after a big game like this, to have to wave to your family in the stands, haven't seen them in person or actually hugged them in person for 13 days.

Our players have really sacrificed a lot. Our staff, as well as the other teams in this tournament. It's worth it. We're excited to extend our stay in Indianapolis. It's a great city. And we'll be in the hotel for quite a few more days here this week.

Q. We've seen our fair share of great brother duos in college basketball. What makes Isaiah and Evan so special when they're on the court together?

ANDY ENFIELD: Well, they're team players. They help you win. They do a lot of things just to help the team win. They're very unselfish and have no ego, meaning they don't need to score the ball. They don't get jealous of each other or other players. They just want to win.

You see that the way they play, the way they handle themselves on and off the court, the way they interact with their teammates. So I could not be more proud of Evan and Isaiah because they lead us by example.

Isaiah is more vocal. Evan, as you see, he doesn't get rattled. His demeanor stays the same whether we're up, we're down. But he plays extremely hard. I think it's great to see their development as individuals but also as a brother combo throughout the season.

Q. Kansas had a lot of success in their last game inside. What was the defensive game plan to limit them? How were you able to do that so effectively?

ANDY ENFIELD: David McCormack is a terrific, true center. He averages 14 a game, he's a back-to-basket guy. He is probably the best true center we played against all season. Our game plan was to try to make it hard for him to catch the ball, then to tall up, make him the shoot over our length. Their guards shoot the three so well, they drive the ball so well.

Kansas is a really good team. They had won 9 out of 10 games, playing at a high level. McCormack was a big part of that. He really turned it on second half of the season, especially in the league season.

We just did a good job as a team defense tonight.

Q. What were you more impressed by, the offense or the defense tonight? Both sides were fantastic.

ANDY ENFIELD: I felt we really shared the ball. Defensively I was more impressed with our defense because to hold Kansas 29% from the field, we held Drake 29% from the field in the first game. To hold two teams in the NCAA tournament to under 30% from the field is really impressive for our guys.

Our offense, I felt we really shared the ball and took good shots. We have had silly turnovers at times. But Kansas is such a good defensive team. To score over 80 points, they're a top ten defensive team in the country. I thought our players made the right play, they were patient, and they were poised.

It all starts with defense for us. I'm really, really proud of our defense tonight.

Q. It takes a while to build a program. It takes a while to get the players who fit what you want to do. At the same time you're in a results-oriented business. Do you ever feel the pressure of you got to get the results? What kind of support did you sense you had? Does that make it this much sweeter tonight to be in the position you are?

ANDY ENFIELD: We have great support. Carol Folt, our president, Mike Bohn, our athletic director, the rest of the administration, Paul Perrier, who oversees men's basketball. We have tremendous support internally.

Externally, yeah, there's a lot of pressure to win. We've won over 20 games five out of the last six years now. The last two years we're now 46-16 in the last two years, which is third in the nation among the six power conferences in men's basketball in total wins. 46 wins over the last two years is third behind Baylor and Kansas, and we just beat Kansas today.

For USC to be third in the nation in wins the last two years, among the six power conferences, that is a credit to our assistant coaches, mainly to our players, what they've accomplished.

In the last six years I think we're 14th or 15th among the six power conferences in wins with 133. Our goal was to try to make USC basketball a top 25 program. We are ranked in the top 25 right now. We've had a lot of good players come through here.

Yes, there's a lot of pressure to win, especially in Los Angeles. If you don't, it's not fun. But our players have done this the right way. I have great assistant coaches. Jason Hart, the fact he's not a head coach right now, is a joke. He's ready to be a head coach. Chris Capko has been with me the same amount of time. Those guys are just outstanding. Two of the best assistant coaches in the country. Then we brought Coach Mobley in, and he's been amazing for the last three years. Kurtis Shultz, our strength coach, been with me eight years.

We have a lot of stability here because to build a program, we came in in the first two years, we were last place in the Pac-12. Year one and two, we were dead last. We were 5-31 in Pac-12 days. To see the work that Jason Hart and Chris Capko put in, and Kurtis Shultz, what they've done as a coaching staff, is just amazing.

Look, we know we haven't won a national championship yet, but we've really improved our program, and we're extremely proud of where we are right now at USC basketball.


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