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Parker Plans to Bring Showtime to Trojans

March 25, 1995|ELLIOTT ALMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Vowing to return USC to the NCAA tournament next season with a fast-paced, high-scoring offense, Charlie Parker was introduced as the new men's basketball coach Friday.

Parker, 46, who served as interim coach this season, received a contract for more than three years worth about $150,000 a season, sources said.

That would be a marked increase for Parker, who received an assistant's salary of about $80,000 this season. Parker had been George Raveling's assistant for seven years when he replaced him two days before the season began. Raveling resigned after suffering injuries in a car accident.

"I know there is speculation that I've come cheap," Parker said. "Let me tell you something: USC has money. I am not a cheap date."

Athletic Director Mike Garrett said money had not been a factor during a nationwide search for a coach. Instead, Garrett said, he wanted someone who shared his passion for USC.

In Parker, the Trojans get a dedicated coach who made it clear he is out of Raveling's shadow.

"This is my program now," he said. "Starting now, you'll see a whole new attitude. This is Hollywood, we're going to put on a show."

Parker plans to use a running game, but will need to overhaul his personnel if he hopes to succeed. USC is hoping to land five recruits by the time the spring signing period ends next month.

One of Parker's first tasks is to determine the future of guards Burt Harris, Claude Green and Ty Reuter and center Kirk Homenick, who might leave if their roles change.

Parker said he won't run anyone off, but expects some new players to contribute immediately. He predicted that USC will have one of the quickest turnarounds in Pacific 10 Conference history next season. The Trojans finished last in 1994-95 and had a 7-21 record after losing their final 14 games.

"We will (change) with a style of play that is 40 minutes of hell," Parker said. "No team will play harder."

Tremayne Anchrum, a senior forward with a season of eligibility remaining, and Brandon Martin, a junior guard, said the changes will not bother them.

"I think he will bring a whole new exciting style to the city," said Anchrum, who was injured this season.

With Raveling gone, Garrett will have more control over the basketball program and already has been involved in recruiting such players as 6-foot-11 Avondre Jones, who left USC after his freshman year but is thinking about returning.

Parker also will share scheduling with Garrett's assistant, Daryl Gross. One of Garrett's criticisms of Raveling's program was a weak nonconference schedule.

Garrett said Friday that the Trojans will play Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount and Nevada Las Vegas next season. Parker said he plans to schedule games against other local schools, such as Pepperdine.

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