UCLA Introduces Steve Alford

Pierre Pierce responds to Steve Alford’s apology and Pat Harty’s column

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Since Steve Alford accepted the UCLA head coaching job two weeks ago, some of his past has been brought up. Most notably his time at Iowa and the accusations against of his players.

Former Iowa guard Pierre Pierce was accused of sexual assaulting a female student and as a result Alford was criticized for not doing enough in regards to disciplining  Pierce. That was brought up during his introductory press conference at UCLA and Alford said he did what he was instructed to do by the university. On Thursday, Alford issued an apology for the way he handled that issue, calling his actions, “inappropriate, insensitive and hurtful.”

“I don’t have an issue with anything he said,” Pierce told Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune on Friday.

Pierce, now a father, is back in Chicago after injuring his shoulder while playing in France. He told ChicagoSideSports.com that he congratulated Alford on the UCLA job and that they keep up from time to time.

“I don’t have an issue with anything he had to say,” Pierce said. “He has always been in my corner since he recruited me, so I have nothing — you will never find me saying anything about coach.”

He also commented on the column from Iowa City Press-Citizen columnist Pat Harty that was posted last Friday. In the column, Harty mentions a moment when his niece, an 18-year-old University of Iowa freshman at the time, claimed Pierce attempted to assault her.

“I wish Pat Harty nothing but the best, but I can’t respond to everyone’s allegations or false allegations,” Pierce told Daniel Libit. “I have moved on from my past. I am not calling it anything. If he wants to say anything about me, he can say it, and do with it what he wants to. At this point, I have moved on from Iowa, the writers, I have moved on from them all — far from them.”

He does not claim any wrongdoing in the alleged incident.

“It couldn’t be more false,” Pierce added. “If they wanted to press charges, why wait 10 years [until] Coach Alford has a job at UCLA to bring more negativity to it? My focus was about the future and nothing about the past because it has no merit.”

Pierce is rehabbing a shoulder injury, but told the Tribune and ChicagoSideSports.com he has thought about becoming a coach when his playing days are over.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.