USC Basketball Staff Update

The USC men’s basketball program has added assistant coaches Will Conroy, Todd Lee, Michael Musselman, Quincy Pondexter and Anthony Ruta, as well as director of sports performance Andre Carrera and director of operations Caleb Cline to its staff, it was announced by head coach Eric Musselman.

Musselman was named USC’s head men’s basketball coach on April 4 and immediately began the process of assembling an elite staff for the basketball program.   Musselman and his staff have also worked tirelessly to revamp the USC men’s basketball roster for the 2024-25 season, which will also be announced in the near future.

Conroy comes to USC after nine seasons as an assistant coach at Washington, the last two as the associate head coach of the program.  During his time at Washington, he helped guide the Huskies to the postseason three times and to the 2018-19 Pac-12 regular season title.  He coached four McDonald’s All-Americans and worked with five players who were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.  He played at Washington from 2001-05 and graduated as the school’s all-time assist leader.

The veteran leader Lee worked the last two seasons as an assistant coach with Musselman at Arkansas.  The pair has a relationship which has spanned more than 30 years, beginning in 1992-94 when they worked together at the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA.  Lee has 12 years of head coaching experience at South Dakota (2018-22) and Kentucky Wesleyan (2005-13).  He was a two-time conference Coach of the Year and finalist for the national Coach of the Year honors.  He also served as an assistant coach at Southwestern CC (1986-89), Cal State Bakersfield (1994-97), UC Irvine (1997-2005) and Grand Canyon (2013-18).  Lee graduated from South Dakota in 1986 with a degree in business administration.  He received his master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific in 2003.

Michael Musselman served on the staff of the Arkansas Razorbacks basketball program the last five seasons.  Musselman was an assistant coach at Arkansas for the 2023-24 season, after serving as assistant director and director of basketball operations for the program.  During his time at Arkansas he spearheaded the Arkansas men’s basketball recruiting efforts, with the 2022 class being ranked No. 2 nationally and the 2020 class ranking No. 5 nationally.  He helped recruit four McDonald’s All-Americans and the 2023 Arkansas team had three players selected in the NBA Draft’s top 40. In 2021, Moses Moody was selected in the NBA Draft No. 14 by the Golden State Warriors, becoming the first Arkansas “one-and-done player.”  Musselman also served on the staff for the Cleveland Cavaliers 2023 NBA summer league team, which won the NBA Summer League title. Musselman received a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in business administration from San Diego in 2018.  He completed a master’s degree in educational leadership from Nevada in the summer of 2019.

Pondexter was an assistant coach at Washington from 2022-24, following an eight-year NBA career in which he played for New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago and San Antonio.  His teams reached the NBA playoffs five times and Pondexter helped lead Memphis to the 2013 NBA Western Conference finals.  Pondexter had a decorated career at Washington, where he played collegiately from 2007-10, scoring 1,786 career points, ranking fifth on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list.  He served as team captain for two seasons and led his teams to two 26-win seasons and into the NCAA Tournament two times, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2010.  

Ruta comes to USC after five seasons on the staff at Arkansas under Musselman.  Ruta was an assistant coach at Arkansas for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons, after working as the director of operations for three seasons.  Ruta was also instrumental in assembling the Arkansas schedules which consistently ranked among the toughest in the country.  Ruta also worked with Musselman at Nevada from 2016-19, the first two seasons as director of operations and the last two as an assistant coach.  Prior to Nevada, Ruta was an assistant coach with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. He began his coaching career at his alma mater Arizona State as a graduate assistant.  Ruta graduated from ASU in 2012 with a degree in English Literature and earned a Master’s of Education degree in Higher Education in 2014.

Carrera was named the USC director of men’s basketball sports performance after four seasons as the sports performance coach with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA G-League.  Carrera also has NBA experience working with the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, as well as having worked with the West Coast Elite Under Armour team.  He has also worked in strength and conditioning collegiately at Washington and Point Loma Nazarene.  

Cline will serve as USC’s director of basketball operations.  He spent the 2023-24 season as the assistant director of basketball operations at Arkansas.  He spent the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant with the Arkansas program.  Cline played for current USC assistant coach Lee at South Dakota, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology and Sports Management with a Coaching minor.

Tagged with: