USC’s Enfield clarifies ‘sarcastic’ jab at UCLA
by David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
SAN FRANCISCO — New USC men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield says he doesn’t mind opening up his practices to the media but wants what happens there to stay there.
After the inter-city trash talk being attributed to him this week — well, good luck with that, coach.
Enfield, who took Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16 last spring, was caught by surprise when the San Jose Mercury News quoted him as angrily yelling at his players during a recent scrimmage: “We play up-tempo basketball here. If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.”
Now there’s a quote that should have some shelf life in the L.A. intercity rivalry, which also features a new coach at UCLA, Steve Alford.
Enfield, attending the Pac-12 basketball media day Thursday at the conference’s TV network studios in San Francisco, didn’t claim he was misquoted, just a little blindsided.
“I certainly did not mean for that to get out in the national media,” Enfield said. “What I said was meant for my team and my team only. It was certainly not to disrespect Steve or what he’s doing.”
Enfield said the comment was example of his “sarcastic personality.”
“I don’t use profanity,” he said. “I use sarcasm. So that was just me saying something to my team. If you (reporters) do cover practice, what I say to my team needs to stay on the court.”
USC guard J.T. Terrell seemed to enjoy his coach jabbing UCLA.
“I hope it adds more fire to the battle,” Terrell said. “I’m hoping for a better game now.”
Coming soon Thursday: Alford’s chance to respond.