Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Wednesday Is a Big Day for Pastner and Memphis
Well, according to MemphisRoar Eric Bledsoe will choose Kentucky tomorrow over Memphis. That is quite unfortunate if it, in fact, does play out that way. However, it really wouldn't surprise me. At this point it is hard to expect the student (Pastner) to beat the teacher (Calipari) in the recruiting game. As a matter of fact, I would really expect that Pastner will need two or three years of coaching experience under his belt to effectively recruit versus Cal.
It was reported a few days ago that Lance Stephenson was considering both Arizona and Memphis after moving past St. John's and Maryland. Once again, it would be difficult to expect Pastner to beat out Sean Miller all things being equal. Yes, both are considered up and commers in the world of D1 basketball, but Miller has ten years coaching experience beyond Pastner. Yes, Miller only has four years as a D1 head coach, but he took Xavier to four straight NCAA appearances including an Elite 8 and Sweet 16 appearance. Ok, yes, he inherited a great program from Thad Matta, but he also kept it at a very high level.
Now all of this might be talk for nothing, as yesterday stories surfaced that Arizona would not take Stephenson. That, of course, remains to be seen. But, let's consider for a moment, would Josh Pastner take Lance Stephenson considering the similarities to O.J. Mayo. Stephenson is considered a selfish player and a locker room issue. Of course, so was Tyreke Evans and he proved his critics quite wrong during this one year stay in Memphis.
Don't get me wrong; if Lance Stephenson wants to come to Memphis, then by all means, figure out a way for that to happen. Pastner needs some good things to happen to keep this program in Top 20 range. Memphis is perhaps one player away from staying at that level - perhaps a Bledsoe, Williams or Stephenson.
Tomorrow the chips start falling.