"No, Mr. Morris, I won't pull your finger."
So we got a new coach...and his name is Darren Horn. Not the biggest "name" out there, but it's hard to argue that he doesn't fit exactly what we were all looking for. His resume is impressive:
• 2 NCAA Tourney wins in his fledgling head-coaching career. Need I remind you that's about two more wins than the USC program has had in about the last 30 years?But as great as all that looks, that's not what people are talking about. No, thanks to Bart Wright, we have to hear about Clemson, Clemson, Clemson. Sure, we all love to have fun with the Tigers, but they shouldn't be part of the conversation right now, when we have all these positive new things to talk about.
• He recruited Dwayne Wade to play at Marquette. And if you watched his press conference, you could tell that recruiting was job #1 for Horn. Of all the knocks on The Warchest, this was probably his most glaring deficiency. So an aggressive, energetic, relentless recruiter will be a nice change of pace here at USC.
• His program at WKU had a 100% graduation rate. With the APR cloud hovering over our program, this new emphasis on academics should help clean things up.
But Wright threw a wrench into the festivities by bringing up our "rival" and baiting Horn into a response. And being the fiery guy he is, Horn shot back with a witty little quip.
"Should I even say it out loud? I think they wear orange. To mention their name would justify their existence, wouldn't it? We don't want to go there. I mentioned we're the University of South Carolina, coast-to-coast, border-to-border."Chuckle-worthy? Yes. Incendiary? Hardly. But the press took his quote and ran with it as if Horn had shot Archduke Ferdinand, invaded Poland, and invented WMDs all at once.
So welcome to South Carolina, Coach Horn and family. If you can ignore the jackals in the media and the self-loathing curmudgeons within our own fanbase, you should do just fine.