9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » My fiance and I just bought our first home. We decided to go with an out-of-state lender thinking we’d get the best rates and lower closing costs that way… but boy were we wrong!We were referred to this mortgage company and told that they “specialized in working with young couples to make it easier,” but their process turned out to be nothing of the sort!After the long and drawn out experience of working with an out-of-state lender, we both realized that we would have been MUCH better off working with our Credit Union or even a local bank. Over the last five months we had to make numerous phone calls to check in to see where our loan was in the process. The lender contacted our employers multiple times to verify our employment, and they always seemed to give us the run around when we asked any questions.
USC basketball flexes its recruiting might, touts a number of the West’s brightest young stars, banks on the promise of a nice record and an opportunity for the seizing — then the wheels fall off completely. The common thread in this failure? Andy Enfield’s USC teams have a fundamental opposition to finishing strong. Over the past few years, USC has managed to avoid qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in often painful fashion. After a nice run in 2016-17 that left the Trojans just short of the Sweet 16, USC was snubbed from the tournament in 2017-18 despite a 24-12 record. Then the team saw all hell break loose and finished 16-17 last season. Like a lazy Tuesday night on FX, we have all seen this movie before. Certainly, considering the talent, USC basketball should be reaching far greater heights. According to 247 Sports, USC had the seventh-best recruiting class in the nation in 2019, headlined by freshmen forwards Isaiah Mobley, Max Agbonkpolo and projected lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu. Factoring in the addition of productive transfers redshirt senior guards Daniel Utomi and Quinton Adlesh, all signs pointed to USC rising from a simple March Madness participant to a potential national title contender. In many ways, the Enfield-era’s failure to finish is keeping USC basketball from taking the much-needed next step toward becoming a respected basketball program: consistent tournament placement. Heading into its final road trip before the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, USC has a chance once again to impress a selection committee that has had little trust in the Trojans in the past. With a pair of ranked games left against teams that have already wiped the floor with USC this season, the Trojans can seek redemption not only for this year’s missteps but also past seasons. All that said, it is often important to walk before running, and making the tournament is a necessary step toward becoming a consistently relevant basketball program. Considering the work that assistant coach Eric Mobley and others have done to increase USC’s profile, it is imperative that the momentum on the court keeps up with that of the recruiting trail. USC is back in action Thursday night in Boulder against No. 18 Colorado, followed by a game Sunday afternoon in Salt Lake City against the Utes — two final road tests that ought to show whether this Trojan team is different from those that failed in previous seasons. Through good and bad years alike, Enfield has struggled mightily in the month of February when conference play heats up and the selection committee really starts to take note of all the shortcomings of tournament hopefuls. Since taking over in 2013-14, Enfield carries a ghastly 16-34 record in each season’s final month, and this stat has done more than impact your local bar’s trivia night. By all means, USC has not had too poor of a season. Impressive wins over LSU and Stanford — as well as the closest thing to a quality loss in a double-overtime defeat in Eugene against Oregon — highlight a resume for a team seeking an NCAA tourney berth. As we’ve witnessed in the past, however, all those accomplishments can be washed away with a poor showing in February, and thus far, it has been a mixed bag for the men’s squad. After solid showings in back-to-back wins against Oregon State and Utah, the Trojans were demolished by Colorado before being swept in their two-game Arizona road trip. Without a doubt, it’s tournament time and it’s up to this Trojan team to buck the trend and make it to the big dance. This script is, as of yet, unwritten. Jimmy Goodman is a senior writing about USC sports. His column, “The Point After,” runs every other Thursday.