Josh Pastner got into it with Louisville fans after big Memphis win

Josh-Pastner-MemphisMemphis came away with its biggest win of the season on Thursday night, beating No. 12 Louisville 73-67 on the road. As you might expect, the Tigers were ecstatic after getting the best of the defending national champions. Cardinals fans were not happy with the way they handled it.

After the game, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner got into it with some Louisville fans who were shouting at him and his players. Pastner apparently took offense to some fans calling his players thugs.

According to Matthew Willinger of CardinalSports.com, Pastner also got into it with Louisville forward Stephan Van Tresse’s father just before he headed into the media room for his postgame press conference. A Louisville police officer stepped in to diffuse the situation.

Pastner downplayed the exchanges and called the Louisville fans “tremendous” during his presser, comparing them to Memphis fans. He did, however, offer some insight about what set him off.

“The only thing I ever get sensitive on is if anybody ever says our guys are low class or anything in that manner,” Pastner said, via Kyle Ringo of The Dagger. “We have a perfect APR score. … Say I’m the worst coach in the world. Say I can’t coach zone. I’m the worst press coach. I look like I’m 13. I should be fired. I’m the worst this. I’m the worst that, but the thing that gets to me is if you say our kids (are bad) cause we’ve done a great job. That’s been a point of emphasis.”

You can’t expect the Memphis players to completely contain their excitement after such a huge win, just as you can’t expect Louisville fans to keep their frustrations to themselves. Fans will be fans. By barking back at them, Pastner just gives them a reason to say something the next time around.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner blames wife for minor recruiting violation

Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner committed a puzzling secondary recruiting violation via the team’s Twitter account Tuesday night when he tweeted the following: “Tony Parker.” Parker is a big man from Georgia and one of the top recruits in the class of 2012, and the Tigers and many other teams would love to have him. Since the tweet qualified as publicly discussing an unsigned recruit, Pastner had committed a violation despite the fact that he deleted it minutes later.

So how did this happen? That’s the entertaining part of the story. According to Pastner, the tweet would have never been sent if not for his wife flustering him.

“My wife was yelling at me because I was on the phone too loud,” he said according to the Commercial Appeal. “I was waking (the couple’s infant daughter) up and waking my wife up because I had the TV on. She was complaining that I not only woke my daughter up, but I also woke the baby inside her up because she’s pregnant.

“So I was waking everybody up, I was getting yelled at and on top of that I was thinking, ‘What’s going on with recruiting?’ and ‘Who am I going to hire?’ and I made a mistake.”

Pastner says he meant to type “Tony Parker” into his search engine but accidentally tweeted it. I’m inclined to believe him, since there’s no reason to think any coach in their right mind would just type a recruit’s name (and only their name) onto the team’s Twitter account. Then again, maybe he’s one of those dudes who’s big into subliminal messaging and feels like the two minutes the tweet was live may have given Memphis an edge. No word yet on how his wife feels about taking the fall. Guess Twitter recruiting violations run in the Pastner family.

H/T The Dagger
Photo credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Tweet from Josh Pastner’s Sister to Recruit Could Get Memphis in Trouble

Josh Pastner’s sister, Courtney Pastner, sent a tweet to high school recruit Rodney Purvis that could get Memphis in trouble (albeit in a minor way). Purvis is one of the top shooting guard recruits in the country and he recently re-opened his recruiting after decommitting from Louisville in early May. He announced on twitter Saturday that he was adding Memphis to his list of schools he was considering.

After losing an AAU game in LA the next day, he wrote “hurts to lose.” Josh Pastner’s sister, Courtney Paster replied to him on twitter “I was at the game. You’re the real deal. I can tell you’re a workhorse.” Rodney then retweeted that message for all his followers to see, bringing to light a potential problem.

Courtney is the sister of Josh Pastner, who is the head coach at Memphis. She has a Memphis Tigers logo as her twitter background (as seen above). It’s pretty obvious she qualifies as a representative of the program the same way Nick Saban and Pat Dye’s daughters did.

Cameron Smith at Prep Rally points out that someone affiliated with the institution making direct public contact with the recruit through social media is a violation of NCAA rules. Sure it’s an extremely minor offense and a rule Courtney’s learning the hard way, but at least she now knows better. And I think we can probably file this story under “why does the NCAA consider this a violation,” again?

Josh Pastner Still Recruiting from the Delivery Room

If you ever wonder how a guy becomes a head coach of a good basketball program like Memphis at the age of 31, Josh Pastner has the answer. Pastner’s recruiting efforts and excellent work ethic have helped him jump to the front of the crowded coaching field. His dedication was on display last week when his wife was giving birth to their first child. As explained by an article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal via Sports by Brooks Live, Pastner was still recruiting while in the delivery room:

Pastner did take his cell phone into the delivery room. But he had it on vibrate. That’s progress, right?

“I had to keep in touch,” he said.

OK, but did you call any recruits?

“I did,” he said.

So much for progress.

“I also told them where I was calling from,” he said.

Some people might view that as dedication whereas others might see it as sickening. That’s the kind of work ethic that gives guys like Urban Meyer serious health problems. The Memphis people have to be proud of this story, you just hope that Pastner doesn’t wear himself out. If there’s ever an occasion to take a few moments off, that probably was it.

Diaper dandy changes Pastner lineup [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
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Memphis Gets Back at Calipari by Hiring His Top Assistant, Josh Pastner

Memphis didn’t exactly get its first choice when they were trying to hire a replacement for John Calipari who left for Kentucky. First of all, the program rounded up all the boosters to come up with a monster salary package to try and get Calipari to stay. When he spurned them, they went after Bruce Pearl, supposedly offering him a seven-year $21 million contract. Pearl decided to sign an extension with Tennessee instead. Then, in what seemed like a surprise move, Memphis announced they had hired Josh Pastner as their new coach. This is the same Pastner who backed up Mike Bibby at Arizona after walking onto the team, getting exposure on the bench with the ’97 title squad. The same Pastner who was later an assistant on Olson’s staff, just a year after finishing his playing career. The same Pastner who’s ascension took him to Memphis to work under Calipari this past year.

I was trying to make sense of this move considering Memphis pays well enough and has enjoyed enough recent success to make it a desirable job. Then when I thought about it I came up with three reasons to explain the move. First of all, Pastner was going to be John Calipari’s top recruiting assistant at Kentucky — hiring him hurts Calipari and helps Memphis get even. Secondly, Memphis was already losing recruits who had committed to them while Cal was the coach. Maybe hiring Pastner will give those recruits incentive to play for the guy who recruited them the most. Lastly, maybe they feel Pastner is a young up-and-coming coach who’s worth taking a chance on regardless of his lack of head coaching experience.

I like the move by Memphis — it certainly displayed outside-the-box thinking. It also makes me wonder why Arizona didn’t bring him back home. Was Sean Miller really worth $2 million per season to recruit an area with which he’s unfamiliar when Pastner could have represented the school well at half the price? Arizona dropped the ball here. And where’s Billy Gillispie’s name for all these jobs? Just because Kentucky canned him doesn’t mean he’s not a good coach anymore.