Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
BY CARL BLEICHSpecial to ZAGSBLOGFORT MEYERS, Fla. –– The week of madness surrounding the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team that came to an end late Friday night with a 62-50 loss to Florida in the Sweet 16 just might be the end of “Dunk City” as America has come to know it.
After shocking the world by defeating Georgetown and San Diego State and becoming the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, things came to a crashing halt thanks to Florida’s athleticism on the glass and stingy defense.
And before the Eagles could even get off the plane in Fort Myers on Saturday, reports began to surface regarding potential suitors for FGCU coach Andy Enfield, who quickly has become a hot commodity in the coaching world.
Yahoo! Sports first reported that USC is targeting Enfield for its coaching vacancy and KSTP in Minnesota reported that University of Minnesota officials have reached out to Enfield about potentially replacing Tubby Smith.
The Fort Myers News-Press caught up with Enfield on Saturday as the team landed in Fort Myers and said that FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh had not been contacted by any other universities regarding Enfield as of Saturday afternoon.
“I’m not going to comment or speculate on anything,” Enfield told The News-Press. “I understand speculation is part of the business.
“Every time you have success in the business, it’s natural to be (discussed as a coaching candidate)…My personal life and my family’s personal life has been under scrutiny the last week, week-and-a-half.”
Enfield just concluded the second year of his five-year contract that paid him $152,500 this season, The News-Press reported. Multiple news outlets in Southwest Florida have reported that FGCU is looking to greatly increase Enfield’s salary for the third year of his deal.
As long as Enfield isn’t commenting, let’s take some time to speculate on Enfield’s possibilities.
Why Enfield should go to USC: First and foremost, whatever Enfield would make from USC would be a huge pay raise from what he made at FGCU this season. Considering where USC is with its basketball program at this point in time, it may benefit greatly from Enfield’s free-flowing, high-flying style of play. Behind the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and UCLA in basketball popularity in Los Angeles, the Trojans could use a boost in excitement on the court. FGCU, which had zero highly-recruited players eligible this season, captivated a nation with its transition offense and slam dunks in the NCAA Tournament. If Enfield, who has good high-major recruiting ties from being an assistant coach at Florida State, could bring in more highly-touted players to fit his style of play, what could Dunk City look like in LA?
Why Enfield should go to Minnesota: Enfield’s pocketbook would also see a huge increase if he took the Minnesota job. There are many assistant coaches who currently make more than Enfield does as a head
coach. According to KSTP, Enfield has a previous relationship with senior associate athletic director Mike Ellis from when he participated in the Villa 7 program while Ellis was at VCU. If Enfield were Minnesota’s head man and could recruit the midwest’s best preps, Minnesota would have a style of play unique to the Big Ten that would be a far cry from the conference’s typical grind-it-out games.
Why Enfield should stay at FGCU: Let’s be honest, Enfield could probably run for mayor of Fort Myers tomorrow and win in a landslide. The architect behind FGCU’s Dunk City has created a buzz in Fort Myers about college basketball that never existed prior to last week. He will likely be getting a large raise from the athletic department and the Eagles have a strong chance to be better next season than they were this year. While they lose Atlantic Sun Conference player of the year Sherwood Brown and sixth man Eddie Murray, they have the perfect transfers that will be eligible next season to replace them. Swingman Jamail Jones (Marquette) and big man Nate Hicks (Georgia Tech) will both be eligible next season after sitting out this year after transferring to FGCU prior to this season. Jones would become the first top 50 recruit ever to play FGCU. If FGCU’s team is actually better next season, Enfield’s stock could be even higher after next year. He may not have to settle for schools that finished in the middle of the pack in their conferences like USC and Minnesota did.
Enfield said after Friday night’s loss that he would like to take some time to talk to his wife, former supermodel Amanda Marcum, about future plans before making any comments about any potential jobs.
Would Enfield leave FGCU for a higher profile job? Looks like we will find out in the coming days.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.