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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Basketball Practice: Enfield Tweaks Up-Tempo Offense

Alexander Wowra |
October 8, 2013 | 9:43 p.m. PDT

Sports Staff

Andy Enfield hopes Omar Oraby (back) can keep up with the offensive pace. (Danny Lee/Neon Tommy)
Andy Enfield hopes Omar Oraby (back) can keep up with the offensive pace. (Danny Lee/Neon Tommy)
USC Men's Basketball head coach Andy Enfield has taken first the steps to instill the up-tempo system that led his Florida Gulf Coast squad to the Sweet 16 in the 2013 March Madness. In practice Tuesday, Enfield had his team play another scrimmage after having the first one of the fall on Saturday, alternating teams from the first and second scrimmages.

The team is still finding their philosophy, and the coaching staff are looking to slowly sort out the puzzle that will be the team's starting five. But before that happens, the coaches have to become more familiar with all the team's strengths and areas that have room for improvement. "We'll have a first- and second-team, but during practice we really need to figure out how to play with the entire team," Enfield said. 

The focus during the training matches is the development of an up-tempo offense combined with a defensive effort that creates more turnovers. "The team is learning how to play at a faster pace and we're working on the offensive spacing on the floor," Enfield said. "On the defensive end, we try to be more aggressive in our man-to-man defense and try to get deflections and steals."

Enfield explained that he is in fact employing the same offensive and defensive system at USC that he used at Florida Gulf Coast, but recognizes that with a different roster come different strengths and weaknesses. He sees a lot of potential in the wings' ability to come off screens, and he emphasized the differences at the center position with Omar Oraby. Oraby is 7-foot-2 and 270 pounds, while Enfield's center at Florida Gulf Coast, Eric McKnight, was 6-foot-9, 210 pounds and much faster than Oraby getting up and down the court. However, Enfield is convinced of Oraby's talent and the necessity to tweak the team's strategy to fit his style. "Omar is an exceptional basketball player and is very skilled in the post, so we will probably have more back-to-basket post touches at USC than at Florida Gulf Coast," Enfield said. 

The team will practice again Wednesday, which will serve as a review day but also feature live offense and defense.

Injury Update: Center D.J. Haley still did not practice, while freshman guard Kahlil Dukes was back after missing time during the first week of practice.

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