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Letter from KO

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USC men's basketball head coach Kevin O'Neill sent a letter thanking fans today.  Here it is:

Most will remember the 2011-12 basketball season as one filled with challenges and adversity. There is no hiding from the fact that by the end of the season our injury-plagued team simply did not have the horsepower to win conference games. However, I will remember this year as one where our loyal fans supported us through thick and thin, even when our play did not live up to anyone's expectations. Our fans played hard through the adversity just as our players did. Thank you for your generous support!

I am very proud of the way our team continued to work hard all the way through the end of the season. No one quit and no one gave in until the final buzzer sounded at Staples Center. We may not have won many games, but we did learn a lot as a team and as individuals. We learned that Mo Jones can be a great weapon as a point guard. We learned that Byron Wesley has the potential to be a big-time player. And we learned that when our backs are against a wall, our guys always Fight On!


Our staff and our players will all be working hard during the offseason to make 2012-13 a great season for the Trojans. As the coach, I am excited that we'll have a complete roster for the first time during my tenure as Head Coach. We're also going to have a lot of new faces who will make next season's team a lot different than this season's. In addition to getting Jio Fontan, Aaron Fuller, and Dewayne Dedmon back from injuries, we'll add several new players who will make an immediate impact. Eric Wise and Ari Stewart have been practicing with us for a year as transfers and are eager to contribute on game days. Multi-talented guard J.T. Terrell, who was on the ACC All-Freshman team while at Wake Forest, will add some much needed punch to the offense and excitement to our games.  We continue to recruit aggressively to bring in other talented players.

Our vision of the future of Trojan Basketball is bright. Our goal and our expectation for next year - and every year -- is to be an NCAA Tournament team.

We're also going to continue to compete with the toughest teams we can schedule. Next year we're playing in a stacked field in the Maui Classic (North Carolina, Butler, Texas, and more), plus we have non-conference games against San Diego State, New Mexico, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Georgia, and Dayton. I can assure you that you won't hear any of the pundits criticizing our strength of schedule on Selection Sunday!

As we conclude this rough season, I would like to share some great news on the progress of our players in the classroom. I am extremely proud to say that we are currently on track to graduate 17 of the 18 players who have stayed with our program in the last four years.

Thanks you all for your continued support of USC Basketball and all our sports programs. We look forward to a great year ahead.

Fight On!


Kevin O'Neill

2 Comments

Looking forward to next season. Fight on!

Coach,

Beautiful letter.

Thank you for a season, that unfortunately was what no one could predict.

And it was a great deal of class to come out to the Monday lunches, when other coaches only seem to want to interact with fans when things are going well.

It is true that you learn far more about a person and that person's character when you watch them deal with adversity.

can't wait to see next year's team play.

fight on!

Barry Levy

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