Blog Entry

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:37 pm
By Gary Parrish

I've always insisted -- at least since Louisville, Cincinnati and Marquette left Conference USA -- that though Memphis probably isn't one of the nation's top 10 programs, it's almost certainly one of the top 10 jobs in its current setup. You coach in a soldout and first-class arena for a school that's a national brand, charters every road trip, has access to private planes for recruiting, out-spends all other C-USA members and generally finds yourself in a position to overwhelm most of the league just as Gonzaga overwhelms the WCC.

You can make millions for as long as you want, because it's really hard to lose.

Further proof of that is what's happening down at the Nike Peach Jam.

The Memphis 16-and-under team and the Memphis 17-and-under team have each made the championship games of what is widely viewed as the premier event of the summer circuit. Both teams are loaded with high-major prospects, and most of those high-major prospects grow up wanting to play for the Tigers.

Third-year coach Josh Pastner has already offered scholarships to 17-and-under team members Jarnell Stokes, Shaq Goodwin (who, it should be noted, is not from Memphis but is playing for Memphis and is considering the Tigers) and Austin Nichols, and 16-and-under team members Nick King and Jonathan Williams III. History suggests Pastner will get at least three of those prospects, maybe all five, and one of the stars of the 17-and-under team, Martavious Newby, is practically begging Memphis to recruit him.

So to recap: The Memphis coach has a massive budget, a top-notch arena, a devoted fan base, a loaded natural recruiting base and a league filled with mostly inferior programs that should allow him to cruise through January and February more years than not. Beyond that, the C-USA tournament is played on his homecourt more years than not, meaning he's almost always the favorite to earn the league's automatic bid.

It's a nice setup. If you're wondering why John Calipari stayed nine years and left only for Kentucky, there's your answer.

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:43 pm

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Oh yes...most definitely. This is NOT a knock against Kentucky.
Let's just say that this is known but not spoken about.

When you coach for a UCLA, Indiana, DUKE, UNC, or a school of that ilk,
there comes with it ALOT of expectations.

The spotlight shines VERY brightly in Lexington.
The schools I listed above are akin to coaching the Dallas Cowboys, or New York Yankees.
The fan base is massive as are problems that come with it. :)

Just sayin'

My Aunt and Uncle have been Cat fans for 40 years.....I've heard alot about UK. ;)


Since: Jun 13, 2009
Posted on: July 17, 2011 10:06 am

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Before using a wide brush to paint a coach as a dirty related to past dealings of other coaches, pay attention to the man in currently in the position.  If it is possible to be clean as a DI college basketball coach, Josh Pastner wrote the guidebook.  He self-reports secondary violations and calls his compliance officer if any question arises.  He has not hosted barbecues for unofficial visits, his recruits have not failed to qualify.  He has not been accused of tax evasion (the only thing ever proved on Dana Kirk).  His players have not sports memorabilia.  The NCAA has not questioned Algebra4 grades from computer courses.  No accusations of fathers requesting huge payments for their sons signing.  He does not recruit players that have verbally committed to other universities.  If other infractions exist in the Memphis basketball program today, please enlighten me.  If infractions come to light in the future, I will be the first to admit the wrongdoing.  Until then, all statements or questions written or spoken about the honesty of Josh Pastner are plain and simple libel and slander. 
And before you paint the entire program as dirty because of Dana and Cal, take note that Moe Ibe, Gene Bartow, Wayne Yates, Larry Finch, Johnny Jones, and Tic Price (he just liked coeds) were never accused of recruiting violations.

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: July 17, 2011 9:09 am

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Quite frankly, it is enjoyable to read an article concerning a team other than the "big boys" of college basketball.  Memphis is a basketball town.  It has a hotbed of talent.  That was shown in the recent Peach Jam.  Of those 10 teams you mention, how many play in a NBA arena, have a sold out crowd for every game, rank in the top ten in attendance win or lose, fans travel well, and have good recruiting year after year?  And very importantly, pay the coach and assistant coaches extremely well?  Just because Gary lives in the area has nothing to do with his article.  Believe me, Tiger fans do not always agree with his comments.  He certainly does not suck up to Memphis.  Check out the out of conference schedule and the Maui tournament teams and you will find Memphis is trying to compete on a national level.  Also keep in mind, the other team(s) must agree to play Memphis.  With them in the pre-season top 10, do you think Tom Izzo would be jumping up and down to pay the Tigers?
As far as your last statement, that is over and done and adding it to your post is insulting.  

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: July 16, 2011 6:45 am

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

While I understand where Lee is coming from, I think Gary's article relates back to a discussion earlier in the year when many national writers were debating top coaching jobs in the country. When the Tennessee job opened up, some people thought that UT was targeting Pastner. Mike decourcy and Gary mentioned that Pastner would not leave Memphis for UT and many people around the country wondered why. The success of Memphis AAU programs and the disproportionate amount of talent in a city the size of Memphis is a major factor. Those of us that follow high school recruiting know that Memphis talent plays all across the country, not just for Cal and Pastner. A quick glance at the front page of CBS sports and the sad news that UNC's Leslie McDonald tore his ACL is also a reminder that Memphis kids sit on benches from El Paso to Chapel hill. It is Gary's advantage as a college basketball writer to live in a city with so much high school talent because he can establish relationships with the coaches and kids like Jarnel Stokes, Adonis Thomas, Joe Jackson, Leslie McDonald, Elliot Williams, and other McDonald all Americans before they become college stars. There are not many cities in the world that have an NBA team, a top 20 basketball program, and great AAU basketball. (D.C., LA, Memphis, where else?)

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 16, 2011 3:16 am

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

I don't have a thing against Memphis. I am glad they are getting positive press here. I assume that everything Gary says is correct. But there is a problem. is a national sports news organization. The national perspective is greatly appreciated. We would likely not come to know about Memphis except for Gary. So tell me this: If Memphis is not a top ten program why not write similar positive pieces about each of those top ten schools.

There is actually only one that seems to get similar treatment from Gary. That would be his old pal Calipari (who is nearly always inserted gratuitously into any college basketball story as above) who just happened to coach 9 years at Memphis. Why the Memphis focus Gary? Do you write similar stories about the gifted basketball players coming from Washington - either D.C. or the Seattle area? Do you write about the really deep recruiting fields in Texas? Or California? I get that we all tend to know more about the city in which we live (Memphis for Gary). But in a national publication isn't it a bit provincial to see Gary sucking up to Memphis and Calipari week after week?

Ok, that is off my chest. I actually like Josh Pastner as much as I know about him. He does have an easy road to the tournament. He does need to go deeper to gain the respect that the top programs have. There is still lots of time. And kudos for scheduling with Gonzaga as Mark Few has the same advantage in his own league and needs better competition as well. Now if you could schedule with Gary's newest friend Tom Izzo, Josh that might be a real resume booster (maybe you already have). As far as Calipari goes I am old school enough to think that if your program is so dirty twice that you have had a Final Four season vacated then it reflects on the head coach. Just saying.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: July 16, 2011 1:22 am

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

To answer your last sentence, I'll give you this response.
Cal left for Kentucky but he and his family have regretted ever since.
While it was Cal's decision to leave, I bet in hindsight (although he'd never admit it publicly) he wishes he would have stayed in
Do you honestly believe that?  

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:15 pm

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Rumor is Jamammy will be accepting the last assistant coaching vacancy at Memphis very soon.

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2011 2:41 pm

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

We have a machine rolling in Memphis and the talent is not going away any time soon.

Jamammy is my hero. 

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:52 pm

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Nice article as always Gary. The Memphis mid-south area is bursting with great Division I talent right now.
To answer your last sentence, I'll give you this response.
Cal left for Kentucky but he and his family have regretted ever since.
While it was Cal's decision to leave, I bet in hindsight (although he'd never admit it publicly) he wishes he would have stayed in
TigerNation. Money mouth

Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:51 pm

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

Jamammy's been trying to tell the world all along...

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