Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Basketball Tickets
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Arena: Reed Green Coliseum Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Nickname:Golden Eagles Colors: Black and Gold
School Name: University of Southern Mississippi
Frustrated with mounting losses, Larry Eustachy walked to every press conference last season and pretty much addressed the same issue each time: Toughness.
His team wasn't tough enough. His players weren't tough enough.
Consequently, the first-year Southern Miss coach vowed to get it straight, implying all the while it would likely take a roster overhaul. Out with the old. In with the new.
Now, the new has arrived, literally. Most of USM s seven newcomers moved to Hattiesburg for summer school — an unheard-of development in the James Green era — meaning Eustachy has had months to imprint his stamp upon them, with toughness, of course, being the top priority.
Will any of this help this year?
Perhaps not, considering none of the incoming players are labeled stars by any recruiting service. Still, Eustachy at least now has a foundation on which to build. David Cornwell, a junior college forward, is one of the newcomers. Notice how Eustachy describes him.
"David," he says, "is a very tough kid."
So clearly, that's an upgrade in the coach's mind.
After averaging 16.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game at Los Angeles City College last year, Cornwell is probably good enough to start from Day 1. On the court, he'll join Rashaad Car-ruth, a former junior college teammate who is the Golden Eagles' leading returning scorer.
Carruth's troubles since his days as a McDonald's AlI-American at Oak Hill Academy have been well-documented, and it now appears the shooting guard will never live up to the expectations bestowed upon him back then. However, coming off a season in which he averaged 13.4 points per contest, Carruth is capable of becoming an all-league performer so long as he plays within himself, and fights the urge to shoot the ball 16 times a game.
Get more players like him, and Eustachy will be back to his winning ways. But for now, it's still the rebuilding phase.
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