via CBS Sports:
Kevin O’Neill has been removed as the head coach of USC , the school announced on Monday morning.
“It was hard for me to evaluate him as a head coach until this year when he had enough players and veterans to compete,” athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. “As the season progressed, it became evident to me that we needed new leadership in our men’s basketball program.”
Per CBS Sports Bob Cantu has filled the position as interim head coach.
The 38-year-old Cantu was given the interim tag from USC athletic director Pat Haden after O’Neill was fired on Monday, after a 7-10 overall mark and a 2-2 record in Pac-12 play.
“Obviously, I was extremely surprised by the timing,” Cantu told CBSSports.com. “We played really well against Utah, and I didn’t see it coming. It’s unfortunate, but now we’ve got to find a way to win games. We’ve got the talent.”
USC is coming off a 75-59 road victory against Utah. The Trojans have quality depth with guards J.T. Terrell, Jio Fontan and Byron Wesley, 7-footers Omar Oraby and Dewayne Dedmon and forward Eric Wise – who leads the team in scoring.
“I’m going to try and past faster,” Cantu said. “We’re going to try and utilize our depth and athleticism. We’re going to press and play some zone at times.”