Southern Cal gets Bibby out quickly

John Antczak and John Antczak

Henry Bibby was fired as Southern California’s basketball coach Monday, just four games into his ninth season.

The Trojans, beset by some player dissension, are 2-2.

“I understand that the timing of this is unorthodox,” athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement. “But I feel strongly that our men’s basketball program needs to go in a different direction. And it was obvious to me that change had to be made now.”

Assistant Jim Saia was appointed interim coach for the rest of the season.

Bibby had an overall record of 131-111. His 1997, 2001 and 2002 teams made it to the NCAA tournament, including a final eight appearance in 2001.

Bibby is a former NBA player and the father of Sacramento Kings guard Mike Bibby.

“Henry has done some wonderful things during his nine years at USC. He took us to three NCAA tournaments and even got us to the Elite Eight. But a change had to be made despite the unusual timing,” Garrett said.

Bibby’s future was in question after last season, when the Trojans won just 13 games, though he said before the season that he felt no added pressure.

“For what reason should I feel a sense of urgency?” he said.

USC had four starters back from last season, along with several top reserves. The Trojans won their opener against UC Irvine before losing to then-No. 11 North Carolina and La Salle. They beat BYU 87-82 Saturday night.

USC hosts Fresno State on Wednesday.

Saia, 40, was an assistant at UCLA for the past seven seasons. He was previously an assistant at California, Indiana State and Fresno State.