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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Floyd turns down Arizona

    And the search goes on.

    Less than 24 hours after he received an offer to coach at Arizona, Tim Floyd decided to remain USC’s head coach, he told members of the Los Angeles media Thursday afternoon.

    Floyd’s decision comes after he met UA athletic director Jim Livengood in Tucson Wednesday.

    Heading into the Final Four this weekend in Detroit, Livengood must now continue his search for Arizona’s next basketball coach to replace the retired Lute Olson.

    “”I listened and I heard what they had to say, but there is really something special about building your own traditions and own history,”” Floyd told reporters. “”And I was really interested in what constituted it as an elite program. I looked at an elite level basketball school I came back and decided, ‘You know what, I’m at an elite place right now, why leave?'””

    “”(USC) can be as special as any basketball school in the United States. We already have that in place,”” he added. “”You’ve got a great talent base here, a tremendous facility, there’s no need to be anything other than a Trojan.””

    Multiple reports Thursday claimed Floyd was also a leading candidate for the Memphis job. Floyd said he knew Memphis was interested in him, but they never offered Floyd the job.

    After turning down the Louisiana State offer last season, Floyd restated that USC “”is still my last job.””

    According to The Associated Press, Floyd has three years remaining on his contract with USC.

    “”I wouldn’t fool around with any school, I would look at a great place, and that was the University of Arizona,”” Floyd said. “”They’re going to hire a great coach, they’re going to have a great program for many, many years to come because of their tradition and history.””

    USC freshman wing DeMar DeRozan, who will contemplate entering the NBA Draft, told the Daily Trojan: “”It was tough but we just stuck together as a team, didn’t pay any attention to the outside or what ESPN was saying. We just wanted to hear from coach and coach gave us the truth.””

    On Thursday, Floyd said he candidly met with his team, telling them that “”coaches maybe get one mulligan in their career when they look at another place.

    “”This will be the last time I look unless the administration gets tired of me,”” Floyd said.

    USC athletic director Mike Garrett added: “”The future is very bright here under Tim’s direction. We talked today and we expressed our commitment to each other. We are both excited about our prospects for next season, especially if we have the team we think we’ll have.””

    Floyd arrived at Tucson International Airport on a private plane from Santa Monica, Calif., at 2 p.m. After meeting with Livengood at an undisclosed location, he departed back to California around 7 p.m.

    No deal, however, was finalized in that initial meeting.

    “”(UA) called me (Wednesday) morning at 6:30, said they’d have a plane there at 12:45 p.m.,”” Floyd said. “”They just told me that they’d like to have me as their coach.””

    Prior to USC, Floyd’s college coaching experience included Iowa State, New Orleans and Memphis, along with tenures in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets.

    USC forward Taj Gibson, who is also considering making the jump to the NBA, weighed in on his coach’s decision to stay in Los Angeles.

    “”The coaches called us last night and told us, ‘Relax, Coach isn’t going anywhere. We’re going to talk about it tomorrow,'”” Gibson said. “”We had a meeting. Coach came in there and said, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’ It was real quiet.

    “”Guys just got open and started asking him how the G4 (airplane) was, what did they offer him,”” Gibson added. “”We said, ‘You didn’t take the money?’ and he said, ‘There’s bigger things than money.’ We started something new here. He’s trying to keep it going.””

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