Busting Brackets

USC Basketball: 10 candidates to replace Andy Enfield as Head Coach

Mar 13, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Andy Enfield reacts against the
Mar 13, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Andy Enfield reacts against the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
7 of 10

Mark Pope

While USC hasn’t exactly had the sustained basketball success of other programs, this job will attract some pretty impressive candidates. We’ll be looking at a few more power conference head coaches and Pope is an interesting name on our list. He’s someone who’s stock only continues to rise as a collegiate coach and could be an underrated snag for the Trojans.

Pope was born in Omaha but went to high school in Washington before splitting his college experience between Washington and Kentucky. He’d spend nearly a decade playing professionally, including parts of seven years in the NBA. After several assistant coaching stints, his head coaching career began with Utah Valley, engineering a turnaround for those Wolverines. 2019 saw him lured to BYU where he’s just led the Cougars to a great season in their first year in the Big 12.

Money would have to be a big deciding factor here, as Pope seems to be cooking at last in the Big 12. Would he rather stay in Utah and coach in the Big 12 or head to southern California and try to manufacture success in the Big Ten? He does only have a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament, but there’s no question that Pope is another rising name in the coaching world. Would he entertain a move to USC if it came at the right price?

Leon Rice

No matter what anyone at USC thinks (or several other power conference schools), Mark Few is not walking through that door. The Trojans are hoping to find their own architect of future success much like Gonzaga did and one potential name is one of Few’s former assistants.

Rice is a Washington native who attended Washington State before a brief coaching stop at Oregon back in the early 90’s. A former junior college coach, he’d spent 11 years with Few as an assistant at Gonzaga before taking over at Boise State in 2010. Rice has been great in the last fourteen seasons in Boise, leading the Broncos to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament as well as three straight Top 3 finishes in a strong MWC.

On the flipside, Rice has never won a Tournament game. He’s already 60 years old, which is certainly older than the average up-and-coming coaching candidate. We don’t even know if the Trojans will settle for a hot mid-major name for this job. There’s nothing specifically connecting Rice to USC but he’s an intriguing name based on the consistency at Boise State. It’s not a name at the top of their lists, though certainly one that should get a serious look.