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Tim Floyd rejects Arizona will remain at USC


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Tim Floyd took his own advice and decided to remain USC's basketball coach, turning down an offer to jump to Pacific 10 Conference-rival Arizona, a source familiar with the situation said today.

Floyd, 55, interviewed with Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood on Wednesday, a day after imploring Trojans players at the team's banquet -- particularly freshman forward DeMar DeRozan -- to wait on the NBA draft and stay at USC. Floyd returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday night to make a decision.

By staying, Floyd can continue working to improve a program that has been to three consecutive NCAA tournaments for the first time in school history. The Trojans, who reached the Sweet 16 in 2007, won the Pac-10 conference tournament title and made tit to the second round of the NCAA tournament this season.

That success could be built on -- if DeRozan, junior forward Taj Gibson and junior guard Daniel Hackett elect to remain at USC rather than test the NBA waters. Floyd also has a solid recruiting class arriving in the fall, including guard Solomon Hill and center Renardo Sidney, both from Los Angeles Fairfax High School.

Floyd could benefit financially from staying at USC, as he is about to enter into the last year of a five-year contract. He is believed to make about $850,000 in base pay, which should go up if he receives a contract extension.

Arizona, meanwhile, will continue to look for a coach to sustain the national prominence that Lute Olson achieved.

The Wildcats have been to the NCAA tournament 25 consecutive seasons, with four Final Four appearances and a national title in 1997. Olson, though, stepped down because of health reasons in the fall. Arizona reached the Sweet 16 under interim coach Russ Pennell this season.

But the Wildcats are under NCAA investigation stemming from self-reported violations involving a recruiting event.

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