Andy Enfield, salty over USC's NCAA snub, won't commit to playing top players in NIT

The Dagger

USC is scheduled to face UNC-Asheville on Tuesday to open NIT play.

Whether USC fields a competitive team or not is to be determined. Trojans head coach Andy Enfield, salty over what he deems an NCAA snub after a second-place finish in the Pac-12, was openly flippant about the NIT in a Monday media conference, as relayed by the Orange County Register.

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Enfield continued to voice his displeasure over missing out on a NCAA bid.

“The feeling is the same,’ Enfield said of frustration held over from Sunday’s bracket reveal. “It doesn’t go away in a day. Because we should be in the NCAA Tournament. We deserve to be, and we’re one of the best at-large teams out there.”

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He also floated the idea of sitting players in the NIT, specifically NBA prospect Chimezie Metu.



How USC’s players feel about all of this remains a mystery, as Enfield has apparently placed a gag order on his players joining him in whining in public about not being selected for a tournament they have no realistic chance of winning.


Enfield’s assertion that USC should have made the field is fine. His declaration that his team is “one of the best at-large teams out there” is absurd. 

Maybe the Trojans are better than Syracuse or Arizona State. Maybe they’re not. In the end, it won’t matter, as none of those teams will be cutting down the nets on April 2.

Andy Enfield may be onto something by considering allowing players to sit out NIT play. (AP)
Andy Enfield may be onto something by considering allowing players to sit out NIT play. (AP)

And, as Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg points out, USC had chances to prove it belongs, but came up consistently short this season against quality opponents.

Enfield’s consideration of letting players with NBA futures sit out truly meaningless college basketball games is intriguing, though. While the comparison to football players on teams in lower-tier bowl games is an easy one, the risk of injury to body and draft stock for basketball players obviously pales in comparison to their gridiron counterparts.

But again. These are meaningless games. And nobody’s paying these players to take a risk, no matter how minimal.

While Enfield’s moaning about a snub may be difficult to listen to, he may be onto something when it comes to players’ rights.

H/T @ USC DieHards

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