Originally written January 16, 2013 on Taking Bad Schotz:
Even though conference play has just begun, the college basketball coaching carousel is already in motion. After going 45-61 with only one NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, USC fired coach Kevin O’Neil after yet another slow star for the Trojans. Although known as a football school, USC basketball is a solid coaching job because of the location, academic standing, facilities, and brand name. Cross-town rival UCLA usually dominates the basketball scene, but that’s not to say the Trojans can’t change that with a big hire. Here is a look at the top 5 potential candidates for the Trojans: 5. Bruce Pearl (ESPN, formerly Tennessee): Photo Credit: AP Despite a successful run at Tennessee, Pearl was booted out of Knoxville after a major recruiting scandal and an absolute beating at the hands of Michigan in his final March Madness game. Pearl has been working as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, and with a few years out of the coaching game, he may be ready to reenter. Pearl has proven to be a great coach, but Athletic Director Pat Haden may not want to hire someone with a history of cheating considering USC’s recent scandals. 4. Tubby Smith (Minnesota): Photo Credit: AP/Jim Mone  To put it simply, who wouldn’t want to leave the cold Minnesota weather for that hot California sun? Smith has finally revitalized the Gophers’ program, and Minnesota is a team that should be on everyone’s radar this season, polling consistently in the top 15. At age 61, Smith could dedicate the rest of his career to making USC basketball prominent, as he has done with other programs, and go down as a legend in the Trojan family. 3. Jay Wright (Villanova): Ever since losing Scottie Reynolds, Villanova has become somewhat irrelevant in the Big East. Although nothing has been said yet, it is very possible that Wright could lose his job in the next few years, which may cause him to bolt to USC. This would is a win-win situation for both the school and coach, as USC would get its big name hire and Wright would get a brand new start. 2. Shaka Smart (VCU): Smart’s name will continue to come up every time there is a head coaching vacancy at big time school. In both of the past two seasons, Smart has led a dark horse VCU team deep into the NCAA tournament with his “organized chaos” style of basketball. Imagine how good Smart’s team would be if he had the ability to recruit the nation’s top players. 1. Jamie Dixon (Pitt): This could be the perfect opportunity for Dixon to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor (Ben Howland) and leave Pitt for sunny Southern California. Pitt is no longer the national threat it once was, and a move to the ACC next year may influence Coach Dixon to get a fresh start at USC. Dixon has the track record and recruiting ability to help SC compete for a PAC 12 title right away. It also helps that Dixon is from the Los Angeles area. -Langer
PLAYERS: Pat Haden
TEAMS: USC Trojans
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Trojans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.