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Successful SEC Basketball Coach Leaving For Southern Cal

Photo via Arkansas Basketball

Arkansas is looking for a new head basketball coach.

Eric Musselman is leaving Fayetteville for Los Angeles, becoming the new head coach at the University of Southern California after spending five seasons atop the Arkansas program.

Musselman leaves the SEC after a successful five-year stretch leading the Razorbacks’ program. The 59-year old coach led Arkansas to three NCAA Tournament appearances, two runs to the Elite Eight and another to the Sweet 16 in his time in Fayetteville.

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USC’s new coach had an underwhelming final season at Arkansas. After being in the preseason top 25, Arkansas went 16-17 (6-12 SEC) last season and missed the NCAA Tournament in a year they lost by 32 points (Auburn) and 29 points (Tennessee) at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Musselman ends his Arkansas tenure with a 2-4 record against Tennessee, going 2-1 in three meetings in Fayetteville and 0-3 in three meetings in Knoxville.

The SEC has become highly competitive in recent years and Arkansas’ resurgence under Musselman was a major part of that. Prior to Musselman’s tour, the Razorbacks had made the NCAA Tournament six times in the previous 15 seasons but hadn’t made the second weekend one time.

Musselman now joins a USC program making the move to the Big 10 next season. Who Arkansas hires will be an interesting development. Ole Miss’ Chris Beard and Kansas State’s Jerome Tang are popular early candidates.

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