Thursday, March 25, 2004

Eustachy Had Hit 'Rock Bottom'

Larry Eustachy called himself a recovering alcoholic who had "hit rock bottom" after being introduced today as the new head basketball coach at Southern Mississippi.

Eustachy said he was thankful for another chance after an embarrassing exit from Iowa State 10 months ago, the Associated Press reported. He was the AP coach of the year in 2000.

I'm happy for Eustachy, and everyone else should be happy for him.

"Sometimes until you totally bottom out, you don't really see what's going on in your life," Eustachy said at a press conference this afternoon on the Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg.

"I hit rock bottom with nobody to blame but myself. You can go one way or another....I am a recovering alcoholic and it's constant maintenance. It's constant work. But where I find myself now, I've never felt better."

Southern Mississippi athletic director Richard Giannini said there was no question the coaching job came at "the right time in the life of Larry Eustachy. It's the right time to have him as our coach."

Eustachy coached Iowa State to Big 12 Conference titles in 2000 and 2001. His 2000 team reached the round of eight in the NCAA tournament.

The AP said Tim Floyd helped Eustachy get the job. Eustachy replaced Floyd as Iowa State's coach.

Floyd, now coach of the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA, said, "It was very easy to say good things" about Eustachy.

Floyd said Southern Miss has picked a winner as its coach.

"You don't win like he does unless you do it all," Floyd said.

Eustachy replaces James Green, a former assistant to Floyd at Iowa State, as Southern Mississippi's coach. Green's team finished 13-15 this past season and lost five of its last six games in his eighth season.

Alford Loses Another Player

Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford, who has a habit of seeing players leave his program, has lost another one.

Ben Rand, a 6-6 freshman guard, said today he will leave Iowa at the end of the spring semester. Rand, a native of Rochelle, Ill., has not decided where he will enroll.

"I have truly enjoyed my year at the University of Iowa and loved being a part of Hawkeye basketball," Rand said. "But the roster has changed since the time I made my commitment to Coach Alford and the Iowa program. I will seek to find a program where I can be a major contributor following a redshirt season.

"From my perspective as a high school senior, it appeared Pierre Pierce would be a senior next season. And Adam Haluska, with three years of eligibility, was not in the picture. With Pierre, Adam and Jeff (Horner), the guard depth in this program for the next few years is outstanding. I wish nothing but success for the coaching staff and my Iowa teammates."

Haluska sat out the 2003-2004 season after transferring from Iowa State.

Rand played in 19 games as a freshman. He scored a career-high five points in a victory over North Carolina-Asheville and had four rebounds and three assists in a home victory over Penn State.

"We hate to see Ben leave," Alford said. "He's a great student and he was a valuable member of our squad this past season. I respect his decision. Ben understands he would have to be very patient for playing time. I appreciate his work ethic throughout the year. I have told Ben we will do all we can to assist in finding the best situation for him to continue his college career."

Is Keady Leaving Purdue?

Has Gene Keady had enough at Purdue?

Or has Purdue had enough of Keady?

Maybe some of both.

At 67, the guy with the strange hair and the ever-present scowl, has interviewed for the coaching job at the University of San Francisco. reported today that Keady interviewed with San Francisco athletic director Bill Hogan on Tuesday.

Keady is Purdue's all-time winningest coach with a 505-249 record in 24 seasons. However, things have not gone well lately. The Boilermakers have failed to make the NCAA tournament in three of the last four seasons. They were 17-14 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten this season.

Vol. 4, No. 227
March 25, 2004

34 A.J. Johnson 6-0 234 So. Bolingbrook, IL (HS)
3 * Ma’Quan Dawkins 5-9 164 So. Bridgeton, NJ (HS)
8 James Townsend 6-1 183 So. Delran, NJ (Holy Cross)