Team preview: Iowa State
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
It didn't take long for Wayne Morgan to give Iowa State a basketball program it could be proud of again.
ISU, which won 56 games from 1999-2001 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2000, suffered a huge image hit in the wake of then-coach Larry Eustachy's messy resignation in May 2003.
Eustachy was photographed while partying with Missouri co-eds after a game in Columbia. The pictures showed up five months later in the Des Moines Register, prompting ISU officials to suspend the coach. Eustachy eventually resigned, admitted he needed help to battle an alcohol problem, and after getting his life in order is now the head coach at Southern Mississippi.
Morgan, who had been on Eustachy's staff for just one season after spending six years as the head coach at Long Beach State, was elevated to the Cyclones' top spot with the program in turmoil. Players were threatening to transfer and recruits were thinking about going elsewhere.
For the most part, Morgan kept everyone together upon his promotion. And less than 10 months later, ISU capped off its first 20-win season since 2000-01 by playing in the NIT's Final Four.