Here we go with our sixth and final profile of the day ... at least two more (Chris Mooney, Ben Jacobson) coming up tomorrow ... maybe more. We'll see.
Josh Pastner, Memphis Head Coach
Career Record: 49-20 (two years at Memphis).
Accomplishments: Well, he became a head coach at a strong basketball school when he was 31. That's an accomplishment in and of itself. And despite John Calipari's departure, he's maintained Memphis' stature as at least a solid team, even if they -- and he -- have experienced some growing pains along the way.
Before He Was a Head Coach: He has one of the most fascinating bios you're going to find.
Pastner earned his bachelor's degree in Family Studies from Arizona in December 1998, two-and-a-half years after enrolling, the fastest an Arizona student-athlete has ever earned a degree. He finished his master's in Teaching and Teacher Education in December 1999 before beginning work on his doctorate. In his role as an undergraduate assistant in 2000-01, Pastner began pursuit of another undergraduate degree.
Despite taking as many as 33 units a semester while at Arizona, Pastner maintained a high grade-point average, was nominated for the CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-America team and was named to the Academic All-Pac-10 second team as a senior in 2000.
By the age of 13 he was publishing the Josh Pastner Scouting Report of local high school talent in the Houston area. At the age of 16, the Houston Hoops AAU squad was turned over to Pastner by his father, his first job as a head coach. While an AAU coach, Pastner coached future NBA players such as Emeka Okafor, T. J. Ford and Daniel Gibson.
Ties to the Midwest: He grew up in Houston, and he coaches in Memphis. His collegiate ties are to Arizona, but he's certainly familiar with Central Standard Time ... and yes, through these previews, I've defined everything from Texas to Michigan as "midwest."
Ties to Missouri: Well, Memphis is in Tennessee, which borders Missouri. So ... yeah, that's the best I could do.
Does He See Mizzou As a Destination Job? Doubtful. If he were to win big here, and Mizzou were to pay him more than everybody else, then sure, but with his recruiting profile, the Kentuckys of the world will come calling if he wins enough.
Can He Recruit? You could say that. This is certainly the one thing we know he can do. Two classes, eight signees -- four 5-stars, two 4-stars, two 3-stars. Recruiting would not be the concern with Pastner.
This Year's Recruits (i.e. Players Who Might or Might Not Come With Him): Adonis Thomas (*****, SF, 6'6, 205, Memphis -- committed, not signed), C Stan Simpson (NR, 6'10, 235, John A. Logan CC -- considering Cincinnati, DePaul, Gonzaga, Memphis), PG Jeff Newberry (NR, 6'2, 175, Charlotte, NC -- considering Memphis, Auburn, Clemson, and many others).
UM's Ken Pomeroy Stats
UM's Two-Year Average
Ken Pom Rankings
|UM Offense||UM Defense|
|Off. Reb. %||135.0
Statistical Tendencies: With Josh Pastner, you're guaranteed to put some serious blue-chippers on the court. And with Pastner, you're almost guaranteed to always field a pretty young team (because young blue-chippers leave early and are replaced by other young blue-chippers) ... and play like it. Memphis has played reasonably well in Pastner's time there, but they have suffered glitches -- turnovers, lapses on the defensive glass, silly fouls etc. His tenure really could be similar to Quin Snyder's pre-Clemons tenure (only with more 5-star signees) -- super-high ceiling with frustrating setbacks.
Would He Come Here? Possibly, but Mizzou would have to pay a lot. Like, a lot. Memphis has money, and if they're happy enough with Pastner (I can't imagine they're not), they'd probably be willing to give him a raise if Mizzou came at him, guns blazing.
Thoughts: There would be a certain facet of visceral enjoyment with Pastner as your coach; woohoo, Random Five Star A just committed!! And here comes Random Five Star B!! Pastner is going to put an incredibly talented team on the field, but even though he was a child prodigy, destined to become a coach since he was about three years old, he's still learning how to coach. It's easy to project a Calipari trajectory onto Pastner's career ... right down to his holding many different jobs. I can't imagine Alden pursues him. Among other things, he didn't pursue the real Calipari very hard in 1999...