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USC Hires Kevin O'Neal: Is This the Right Move?

EUGENE, OR - MARCH 8:  Coach Kevin O'Neill of the Arizona Wildcats calls a play against the Oregon Ducks at MacArthur Court March 8, 2008 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Chase RuttigCorrespondent IJune 20, 2009

Today USC hired Kevin O'Neal, who has had mixed sucess at his five head coaching stops.

This announcement came after USC stated they were going to hire a high profile coach. While O'Neal is a decent coach, he is certainly not high profile. He hasn't held a job for more than five years and has had mediocre results.

This has been a let down for me, as I hoped that USC would make a big name signing and rise to national prominence, creating an even more competitive Pac 10, which is one of the most entertaining conferences in basketball.

But aside from whether O'Neal is high profile or not, is he the right hire for USC?

I say no.

His college resume includes a great run at Marquette during his first coaching stop, getting two twenty win seasons. He also had stops at Tennessee and Northwestern that were subpar, and replaced Lute Olsen for one season at Arizona, earning his only NCAA berth and a first round exit.

Then there was the NBA tenure with the Raptors, in which he basically got every single player on the roster to stop hustling and finally gave Vince Carter a reason to leave Toronto.

So Kevin O'Neal is a hot-head with a losing record and one NCAA berth as an interim coach on a team that wasn't his, and he is your high profile hiring?

It seems like USC was talking a big game during the interview process, but when it came down to backing it up, they just couldn't shell out the money for the big names.

They would have been better off signing a no name coach than the absolute failure Kevin O'Neal is.

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