In the first round of the NCAA tournament, No. 6 USC defeated No. 11 Drake with a score of 72-56 to advance to the round of 32. Now, the Trojans will compete against Kansas on Monday, March 22nd in hopes of progressing to the Sweet 16.
Andy Enfield was pleased by his teams efforts on Saturday afternoon, and here is everything he had to say following USC's victory over the Drake Bulldogs.
Enfield Talks Victory to Drake
“Well congratulations to Drake, Coach DeVries, Coach Richter, and the rest of the staff. The players. They have had an incredible season this year. They gave us everything we could handle tonight. Congratulations to Drake on a great season. I thought our guys showed a lot of defensive toughness, especially in the second half, to pull this win off. We are happy to go to the next round.”
Enfield Talks Locking Down On Defense In The Second Half
“The biggest thing was to take away [Joseph] Yesufu. He was on fire in the first half. He is a great player, great offensive player. Our goal was to take their best player out of the game in the second half and make everything tough, and I thought we did a good job of switching man and zone.
We made him work and I think he got tired, but he is a tremendous offensive player. He made his first four threes from deep, and I thought to hold them to 18 percent in the shooting in the second half, credit to our guys. They really defended and played very hard.”
Enfield Talks Evan Mobley’s Impact
“He was in the middle of our zone the last ten minutes we played zone and man to man. He had three blocks tonight, but he challenged a lot of shots, made those floaters go a little higher than normal. I thought our length getting after their shooters bothered them a little bit, especially in the second half. It was a team effort, but Evan is obviously a big part of our teams defense.”
Enfield Talks Early Points by Isaiah Mobley and Drew Peterson
“We posted Drew up in the first half. He got to the rim, off ball screens, he was able to use his length and shoot over some people. Isaiah got some good post touches. He was in foul trouble, he had his third foul early in the second half, and only played eight minutes in the first. Then I thought once he came back in for the last 12 [or] 13 minutes of the game, he was sensational in posting up, getting position, and finishing with his jump hooks.”
Enfield Talks USC Defense
“Well, we’ve been good all season for the most part. I know we’ve lost a few games where our defense wasn’t where it needed to be, but tonight it was, and that is what it takes in this tournament.
We’re a good defensive team. We played very hard, and we have size and length in most positions. Our coaching staff is really happy with how we defended. Drake is really hard to guard because they spread you out, they drive the ball, they kick it out, and they have an elite scorer in [Joseph] Yesufu. It was a very good team effort.”
Enfield Talks Evan Mobley’s Progress
“Evan Mobley is a freshman and has improved every week and every month of the season. He’s learned how to guard physical bigs. He’s learned how to guard athletic bigs and also guys who have a lot of skills at shot fake.
He has to guard a lot of different people. We switch him out on guards. We switch him out on other bigs. So, he has really improved defensively and offensively and what you’re seeing now is a complete player. He did a great job on both ends of the floor tonight.”
Enfield Answers 'If This Team Is The Best He Has Coached'
“One of them. We were really good a few years ago with [Jordan] McLaughlin and [De'Anthony] Melton and Chimezie [Metu] and [Bennie] Boatwright and [Elijah] Stewart and Jonah Matthews and [Nick] Rakocevic. We were pretty good.
We won two games in the tournament that year and won 26 games overall. Then the next year, we came in second in the league and had 24 wins. So, I would say those two teams and this team are top three.”
“And then last year’s team with Onyeka [Okongwu] and some seniors, we were 22-9 last year and I thought last years team was different because we were so tough and defensive minded and really really good defensively.
If you put a Final Four tournament of those four teams, it would be fun to watch, and I would sit back and not coach and just watch those guys go at it because we’ve had a lot of good players here the last few years.”
Enfield Talks Facing Kansas Short-Manned
“I don’t see that as an edge at all. I think they had most of their team today. Maybe one player was out. But they’re just exceptional.
They have so much talent. They’re so experienced. They have veterans at different positions. So, we’ll have to play a great game to have a chance to beat them on Monday.”
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*Promo Photo Courtesy Of NCAA*