Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/16/13
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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Super Bowl 50 ticket prices are insane

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

College Football 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker