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Eric Musselman explains why USC was better for him over Arkansas

Alex Weberby:Alex Weber04/06/24

Eric Musselman made the surprise move from Arkansas to USC this week and gave props to both schools at his introductory press conference.

“First of all, you know, our time at at Arkansas, we worked for an incredible athletic director, Hunter Yurachek, and we were really happy there. I mean, it’s one of the best basketball jobs in the country, there’s no question about that,” said Musselman, touting the support he was able to rally for the program.

“We’ve had three straight years of of being sold out in September and that building holds 20,000 people in Bud Walton. And obviously, you know, three straight Sweet 16s, minus this year, and two Elite Eights.”

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But even with Musselman out the door, he knows the program will be just fine without him.

“I mean, it’s a proven program that has won in the past before I got there with Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton and they’re going to win again after my time there,” he added before shifting focus to the USC job and why it was attractive.

“This is an opportunity — the more Jen and I talked, I don’t know if you know Jen, but I had great angst, because, like, can she hurry up and make a decision, because we really believe that with all the things going on with the the USC brand with going into the Big 10, that this is a really incredible fit for us as a family and an incredible fit for for USC. I think it’s great all around.”

Eric Musselman’s move from the SEC to the Big Ten is hardly an upgrade or downgrade given that those are the two premier conferences. But warm weather, a national brand as an athletics program, and location in Los Angeles all makes the Trojan lifestyle appealing.

Now, Musselman is just hoping he can bring out the passion in USC fans that he saw at Arkansas, who was top-five in attendance for several years of Musselman’s tenure, whereas USC has been nowhere near that range.

“You know, I’ve seen the attendance figures at both places, and I hope that the people in Arkansas feel like we had a big impact on on the attendance growing in Bud Walton, and if you look at the numbers before we got there and the numbers of what they were this year, I think we did have an impact on that.”

After a tough last season, USC needs an injection of energy and Musselman is certainly hoping to provide that for this storied hoops program.

“I certainly hope that we have a great impact on our attendance here as well,” he commented to end his opening press conference.