Skip to main content

Eric Musselman on expectation at USC: 'Our team plays for 40 minutes'

20200517_134556by:Justin Rudolph04/11/24

Eric Musselman recently made the jump from the SEC to the Big Ten as he headed out West, leaving the Arkansas Razorbacks to become the next head coach of the USC Trojans.

Musselman helped Arkansas recapture some of its glory from the Nolan Richardson era of the 1990s. Now, he is tasked with doing the same for USC.

During his introductory press conference, the new Trojans men’s basketball head coach tackled a number of topics. But what he said about what will be the biggest takeaway from the program under his command in year one caught the attention of many. According to Musselman, his Trojan players better be ready to play hard and give it their all until the final whistle of each game.

 “I think the biggest thing is that our team plays for 40 minutes,” said Musselman. “I look back at the last nine years that we’ve been involved in college basketball; we’ve had some of the greatest comebacks in the history of college basketball. Down 22 and continuing to compete. And I think that it’s going to start in the summer with our guys, them understanding the expectations of playing for 40 minutes. Whether we’re up, whether we’re down.

“Then having the belief that regardless of the score or regardless of the time on the clock, what would seem impossible, there are a lot of ways to win basketball games when the odds are against you. So, I would say we want to play for 40 minutes.”

Even with this serious amount of talent USC had on the roster last season, the Trojans struggled mightily throughout the year. Injuries did play a role and USC’s inconsistency. However, there were often times when one could question the level of intensity they brought to the court. Next season under Musselman, fans should expect that to change as that is something before her Razorbacks head coach hangs his hat on.

Musselman explains why USC was better for him over Arkansas

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.”