FanPost

Does Memphis' Record This Year Prove Cal is a Great Coach?

I have been traveling a lot since the beginning of the year, but the Memphis Tiger fans are quickly becoming frustrated with Josh Pastner, the coach that took over at Memphis.  The honeymoon is clearly over - it is so bad that fans are questioning if the fact that he does NOT cuss is an indication that he is a bad coach...The bottom line is that watching Cal at UK the last 2 years versus what has happened at Memphis has greatly raised my opinion of him as a coach.

More after the jump, but the paper and airwaves are in full meltdown over the Tiger program...

 

 

Coach Pastner was given a pass last year because Cal "stole" the Memphis's recruits.  However, the incoming class this year was arguably a top 5 class and a return to the promised land (NCAA tournament and possibly FInal Four - with one player guaranteeing a NC) was "clearly" at hand.  The premise apparently has been since Cal simply "rolled the ball onto the court" and let his recruits play, then Josh could do it.  This year's Memphis team makes UK's Team Turmoil of the early 00's look like smooth sailing.

I do not wish ill on the Memphis fans, but they are beginning to understand how much Cal did coach - and I must admit that my respect for Cal's coaching ability has increased tremendously watching at UK versus his years at Memphis and now the last 2 years at Memphis without him.

Of course, Geoff Caukins - who blasted Pastner last week - is now trying to defend him by saying that if he simply had the same players as Cal, that he would be winning (of course, he seems to forget the freshman class at memphis came in with players as highly taunted as those Cal had).  He also absurdly says after all Brown at Texas and Williams at UNC are having off years so it can happen to the best of coaches - Caukins should at least wait until Pastner wins something before comparing him to legends.....

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/jan/14/its-too-early-to-say-pastner-is-the-problem/?partner=popular

One more thing - it might be beyond the scope of this post, but Cal was heavily criticized for not taking/recruiting Memphis high school kids.  Cal had to be careful what he said, but the implication was that between the lack of on court coaching and the off court distractions, it was not worth it.  Pastner took a couple of kids from Memphis - some very highly rated - and what we are seeing happen with this freshman class at Memphis could be somewhat of a vindication of Cal's lack of attention to Memphis talent.  One year does not prove anything, but it is worth watching...

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