Eustachy Finds His Point Guard

As impressive as it is that Iowa State could get a commitment from a player that hasn't yet made a visit to Ames, it's equally as astounding that Cyclone head coach Larry Eustachy would drive 22 hours on his own to visit one recruit.

Well both happened this week in Winchendon, Mass., where ISU's coach visited with prep school point guard Curtis Stinston after making the trek from Ames to the East Coast. Eustachy came away from the visit with his first commitment for the 2002-03 signing class in hand.

While the traveling practices of the Cyclone coach are far from the norm, so has been the recruiting of Stinson, who gained much praise after earning MVP honors at the Adidas Big-Time camp over the summer.

"It's a little bit of an against-the-grain type of commitment, from the simple fact that Curtis hasn't taken the SAT yet," said basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telp. "That means he can't visit anywhere, or Iowa State for that matter. Iowa State decided that they liked him enough that they were going to go out there, see him, offer him a scholarship and worry about that at a later time.

"So they go out there. Curtis meets with Drexel in the morning and Iowa State in the afternoon. By the end of the time, he had made a commitment to Larry Eustachy. He will take the SAT this fall and probably visit over Christmas break."

The addition of Stinson, a consensus top-100 player nationally, will go a long ways towards shoring up the future ISU backcourt, which took a hit over the summer when Waterloo East's Mike Henderson de-committed.

Telep says Stinson has the ability to play both guard positions, but has improved his ball-handling ability greatly and could end up handling the point in Ames.

"Curtis is kind of a big, strong, powerful kind of guard," Telep said. "From what I've seen, his forte is just getting the ball to the rim and finishing. Most of the college coaches who have gone to see him in the fall have just come back raving about how he's really improved as a point guard. That's probably where Iowa State's interest in him begins, is playing the point."

Particularly in the Big-Time Camp, Stinson showed his winning mentality in leading the upstart New York Ravens to a championship.

"He was the MVP of the Big-Time in July where he essentially led a team that over-achieved in the New York Ravens and won the championship," Telep said. "They were terrific and he was very good. That really kind of jump-started things for him."

Furthermore, Telep believes that Stinson and his positive attitude will fit in well at ISU.

"Obviously (the Cyclones) have had a lot of great players over the past few years and guys that have carried them throughout the tournament, like (Marcus) Fizer and (Jamaal) Tinsley," he said. "More than anything else, where Curtis Stinson will fit in at Iowa State is just that he competes and looks like a guy that doesn't handle losing very well. When you can add that in a kid that has intangibles like he has, that's really important to a college program."

Winchendon Prep head coach Mike Byrnes could not be reached for comment this morning by CN. Check back later for more on this story.

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