USC officially introduces Eric Musselman as its head men’s basketball coach

Fredo Cervantes - The Sporting Tribune
On Friday, USC Men's Basketball officially introduced Arkansas's Eric Musselman as its new head coach.

LOS ANGELES — The Muss Bus has arrived in Los Angeles.

On Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the hire was announced, USC introduced officially Eric Musselman as its new head men’s basketball coach. The 59 year-old Musselman replaces Andy Enfield, who recently left for SMU after 11 season at the helm of the Trojans.

Musselman comes to USC from Arkansas, where he led the Razorbacks to three consecutive Sweet 16s and back-to-back Elite Eights. Before that, he was the head coach at Nevada, where he took the Wolfpack to three NCAA Tournaments in four years, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2018.

“This is a transformational day for USC Men’s Basketball,” Athletic Director Jennifer Cohen said. “Throughout our conversations . . . it became very clear that he was the right person at the right time.

“He’s a proven winner. He not only builds elite, high performing teams, he knows how to sustain them.”

“We are more than excited, as a family, for this opportunity,” Musselman said. “We think the potential here is through the roof. And so that’s why we’re sitting here.”

Musselman also delivered a promise to USC fans: regardless of the score, his teams will always compete and continue to Fight On until the final buzzer.

“The biggest thing is that our team plays for 40 minutes,” Musselman said. “Everybody talks about that. But I think that if you look at our past history with teams, that’s come to truth, and this upcoming season I hope will be no different.”

The current state of USC’s roster

One of Musselman’s first orders of business at USC will be rebuilding the Trojans’ roster. With three of five starters from last year’s team graduating, 2024-2025 was always going to be a rebuilding year for the Trojans, but the scale of that rebuild further intensified following Enfield’s departure.

Junior guard Kobe Johnson, who was supposed to be USC’s unquestioned leader and best player next season, transferred to crosstown rival UCLA. The Trojans also lost two key reserves to the Transfer Portal in sophomore guard Oziyah Sellers and sophomore forward Kijani Wright. They were followed Friday morning by two more key reserves in sophomore forward Vince Iwuchukwu and freshman guard Bronny James—who also declared for the NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility.

The biggest domino left to fall regarding USC’s returning roster is freshman guard Isaiah Collier. Projected as a top ten NBA Draft pick at the start of the season, Collier’s stock dropped somewhat due to the Trojans’ struggling season, but he is still expected to go well within the first round should he declare. If Collier does in fact leave for the NBA, USC would lose all nine of its top scorers from last season’s team. As of now, junior forward Harrison Hornery, who averaged just under 14 minutes per game off the bench, is the only player who has publicly committed to returning to the Trojans in 2024-2025.

With most of last season’s roster departing, Musselman will need to utilize the Transfer Portal in order to rebuild the Trojans on the fly. And he has already started to do so, picking up a commitment yesterday afternoon from former UMass forward Josh Cohen.

After spending four years at St. Francis, Cohen played for the Minutemen during the 2023-2024 season. He started all 31 of the team’s games, averaging 15.9 points and 16 rebounds per contest. He originally committed to play his final year of eligibility at Arkansas, before flipping his pledge to USC following Musselman’s departure for the Trojans.

While Cohen is USC’s first high-profile addition of this offseason, he certainly won’t be the last. When Musselman coaches his first game as a Trojan in November, the roster will likely look completely different than it does right now.

“The way the roster ends, up, nobody knows,” Musselman said. “We do have some work that we have to do, and we look forward to doing that.”