Kevin O'Neill needs to have a talk with Evan Smith.
Don't know who Evan Smith? I'm not surprised. Smith is a seldom-used freshman on the USC basketball team, but he sure talks like he's a star. Take a look at what he told David Wharton of the LA Times:
I just want to win this (expletive) game because they left us. They all decided over some (expletive) controversy, they decided to dip out. ... Yea, man, that's what it is. You guys left, we're still going to whup your (expletive). You should have stayed.Really Evan?
The "they" that Smith is referring to are three of Arizona's freshman - Solomon Hill, Derrick Williams, and Momo Jones - who were all committed (along with Noel Johnson) to USC before reopening their recruitment after former coach Tim Floyd was alleged to have taken money from OJ Mayo's handler. Hill, Williams, and Jones all ended up at Arizona.
That was just a piece in a weird offseason that intertwined the two schools:
- Kevin O'Neill coached Arizona in '07-'08, but Lute Olson decided he didn't want O'Neill has his succesor and had him removed from the position
- Hill originally committed to Arizona when Olson was supposed to be returning, but bailed when Olson re-retired. Jones and Williams later committed to USC as well.
- Arizona, during the course of their search for a permanent replacement, offered the job to Floyd. He turned it down, only to resign from USC once the scandal broke.
- Hill, Williams, and Jones all separately decided to go to Arizona once Sean Miller go the job there.
- The most ironic twist - Kevin O'Neill eventually got the job at USC.
What is for sure is that its another strange twist to this story.
And for those that didn't read today's pregame beat, these two teams play at