Dan Shanoff, USA TODAY  

The reality is that in a week or two, Enfield is poised to jump to a bigger college hoops program — presumptively en route to an eventual head-coaching gig in the NBA.

If I were the machers at UCLA trying to rebuild after yesterday’s end of the Ben Howland Era, I would hire Enfield — his combination of attitude, player-friendly style, obsession with recruiting, NBA bona fides and (yes) Hollywood backstory are ideal for Westwood.

But snobby, delusional UCLA boosters won’t hire Enfield. They will set their sights on VCU’s Shaka Smart, only to be shocked — shocked — when he turns them down.


UCLA used to be one of the best jobs in college hoops. Used to be.

Now, it’s a non-essential program with limited national exposure centered in a toxic recruiting region with absurd expectations that has become the equivalent of the uncle who keeps telling you how awesome his college days were 40 years ago.

Who could blame Shaka Smart (or Butler’s Brad Stevens, the other hottest name in college hoops coaching) for side-stepping that mess?

UCLA was one of the Top 5 jobs in college hoops. Not any more.


Let’s rank the Top 5 jobs in college basketball:

(1) Kentucky.

(2) Duke.

(3) Indiana.

(4) Florida.

(5) Texas.

If he aspires to run a top-tier program, Smart’s biggest issue is that it is unclear when — if ever — those top jobs will open, although you get the sense that if Texas fans were given the choice between another year of Rick Barnes or dumping him for Smart tomorrow, they would shout “Hook ’em, Havoc!”

Someone will get the UCLA job and say all the right things. Maybe it will be Memphis’ Josh Pastner. Maybe it will be Villanova’s Jay Wright. Maybe it will be Alabama’s Anthony Grant. (Safe to say it won’t be Tubby Smith.)

But for the sake of UCLA’s status, they should go straight for the Hollywood ending and pick FGCU’s Enfield.