Posted on: September 11, 2009 12:52 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2009 4:22 pm
An MRI performed Friday showed that Memphis forward Angel Garcia has a torn ACL that will force him to miss the entire 2009-10 season, Tiger coach Josh Pastner confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Garcia tore the ACL in a Thursday workout.
"It was just one of those weird things," Pastner said. "There was no contact. He didn't jump. His knee just gave out on him, and I just feel sick for the young man."
Garcia is a highly rated recruit from the Class of 2008 who was forced to sit out last season because of academics. The 6-foot-11 forward was expected to play a major role this season given the lack of big men on the Memphis roster. Junior college transfer Will Coleman and senior Pierre Henderson-Niles are the only conventional post players currently in the program.
"We've got a good nucleus," Pastner said. "But we don't have any depth."
Posted on: September 11, 2009 8:40 am
Edited on: September 11, 2009 9:06 am
Josh Pastner is about to land another elite recruit.
This time it's a local product.
"I am committing TONIGHT at the Larry Finch Center at 6:30 pm," likely McDonald's All-American Joe Jackson posted on his Facebook page early Friday. "Come support me and one of the biggest decisions [of] my life. ... Kansas, TN, Memphis. What [is it going to] be?"
For those unfamiliar, the Larry Finch Center -- technically the Larry O. Finch Center -- is the practice facility on the University of Memphis campus. So it should come as no surprise that multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that Jackson will verbally commit to Memphis tonight (over Kansas and Tennessee) and provide what should be a wild scene in his hometown.
"Joe loves the city and he wants to be a Tiger," one source told CBSSports.com. "He was always going to be a Tiger."
Thus, this is hardly a shock. Things have been headed this way for months, honestly, and Jackson spent much of the past week dropping hints on Facebook . Even so, it's still huge news in the recruiting world if only because it means Pastner will now have commitments from two top 10 prospects from the Class of 2010 despite the fact that the 31-year-old former Arizona player is still yet to coach his first game.
Serious question: Has something like this ever happened?
"The closest thing would be John Calipari [getting] John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins [this past offseason before ever coaching a game at Kentucky], but obviously Cal has coached [games] before," said longtime recruiting analyst Justin Young, who runs the National Hoops Report. "But other than that, no sir."
Memphis will now become the nation's only school with commitments from two Top 10 prospects.
One of those commitments is Will Barton, a 6-foot-5 guard from Baltimore.
The National Hoops Report ranks him sixth in the Class of 2010.
The other is obviously Joe Jackson, a 5-11 point guard from Memphis.
The National Hoops Report ranks him ninth in the Class of 2010.
Posted on: June 27, 2009 7:24 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 7:53 pm
Former Kentucky student Matt Pilgrim is expected to visit Memphis Sunday and could announce a transfer to the C-USA school in the next week, a source close to Pilgrim told CBSSports.com on Saturday.
An initial attempt to reach Pilgrim for comment was unsuccessful.
This development is interesting because Pilgrim transferred from Hampton to Kentucky after the 2007-08 season, sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules and was expected to play for the Wildcats in 2009-10. But that all changed when John Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky, oversigned and thus needed to move players out of the program to allow his six incoming freshmen to enroll.
One of the players moved out was Pilgrim.
He did not want to leave.
And that's one of the reasons why a source close to Pilgrim told CBSSports.com that Calipari is working with new Memphis coach Josh Pastner to make this likely transition go as smoothly as possible. According to a source close to Pilgrim, Calipari and Pastner have been in contact, and Calipari has told Pastner he will not only release Pilgrim to Memphis, but that he will back Pilgrim's expected request of a waiver that, if granted, would allow Pilgrim to play for the Tigers this season.
Under normal circumstances, Pilgrim would have to sit out another year before becoming eligible in 2010-11. But the hope is that the NCAA recognizes that Pilgrim is only transferring for a second time because he was nudged out of Kentucky. In other words, Pilgrim had no say in the matter. And a source close to Pilgrim said there is precedent for the NCAA to grant a waiver under these circumstances.
Pilgrim's connection to Memphis is through Tiger assistant Glynn Cyprien.
Cyprien spent the past two years on Billy Gillispie's staff at UK.
He worked in practices with Pilgrim all last season.
Posted on: June 8, 2009 9:39 am
Edited on: June 8, 2009 9:41 am
Shawn Taggart told his "friends" last month on Facebook that he was leaving school. He subsequently said it meant nothing, of course. But telling "white chocolate" that "its ova wit" always seemed like a good sign that the Memphis forward would remain in the NBA Draft, for better or worse. And so it should come as no surprise -- it didn't surprise first-year coach Josh Pastner, at least -- that Taggart has hired an agent.
"We would've loved to have Shawn back, but I think we still have a good core group," Pastner told CBSSports.com by phone. "Now we're just going to have to fight and claw and scrap and just be a tough team, and we're going to have to coach them up. There's no question. We're going to have to coach them up. But this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys who were role players last year. Now they have to really step up."
On the surface, Taggart's departure makes little sense because he has no chance of being selected in the first round, and it's doubtful that he'll be picked at all. But it's important to note that the 6-foot-10 forward has already graduated, and that he's 24 years-old. So leaving now is a reasonable decision if the goal is to simply earn a paycheck somewhere, ASAP.
Taggart's departure means the top four scorers from last season's team are gone.
Pastner will only have five returning scholarship players.
In other draft news, LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, Arizona's Nic Wise and Miami's Dwayne Collins have all announced that they will withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to school. The deadline to withdraw is next Monday.
Posted on: June 5, 2009 11:11 pm
Memphis has endured a lot of negative headlines over the past week.
But now it's time for a positive one.
Because the Tigers just committed a consensus top 10 prospect.
"Me and my brother are ecstatic," Will Barton told CBSSports.com by phone on Friday night, not long after he and his brother, Antonio Barton, committed to first-year coach Josh Pastner during an unofficial visit for an Elite Camp. "We have a strong relationship with Coach Pastner and Coach Cyp (assistant Glynn Cyprien). It just feels like a family atmosphere down here."
Will Barton is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Baltimore.
Scout.com ranks him as the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2010.
Antonio Barton is a 6-2 combo guard from Baltimore.
He is unranked on the national level but considered a solid mid-major prospect.
At least a dozen other schools were pursuing Will Barton -- among them Syracuse, Maryland and Kentucky.
"I think it came down to Memphis working the angle of taking both brothers," said Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "Kentucky was probably second (in the race), but I think they only wanted to take Will and Memphis wanted to take them both."
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:40 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2009 7:26 pm
Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner confirmed to CBSSports.com on Thursday that he was never told the school had been charged with major NCAA rules violations when he accepted the job last month.
"I was unaware," Pastner said by phone from his office. "That's the truth."
Memphis received a letter alleging violations in January.
Pastner was hired nearly three months later.
So no, it does not appear athletic director R.C. Johnson was forthcoming with some crucial information when he offered Pastner the opportunity to replace John Calipari. But the good news for the first-year coach is that it seems highly unlikely that he'll be affected in any tangible way by the possible violations that happened while he was still an assistant at Arizona.
In other words, this is about the Tigers' past, not the Tigers' future.
So while it's possible Memphis might have its 2008 Final Four appearance banished from the NCAA record books, there is no indication whatsoever that a postseason ban, TV ban or any scholarship losses are on the way. That's a key point Pastner must stress going forward, if only because opposing schools will undoubtedly use the threat of harsh penalties in an attempt to scare prospects away from Memphis.
"I've been told by our athletic director and other people in the administration that none of this will affect the current team or any future team," Pastner said. "This is all about [the 2007-08 season]."
Posted on: April 15, 2009 10:40 am
Edited on: May 18, 2009 9:25 pm
Josh Pastner has asked the Denver Nuggets for permission to speak with Jack Murphy about a job on the Memphis staff, a source close to the program told CBSSports.com on Wednesday.
Murphy is a scout for the Nuggets, a close friend of Pastner's, a former Arizona manager and the son-in-law of Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood. He is respected as a tremendous workout guy, someone Denver coach George Karl values greatly, which could make it tough for Pastner to lure Murphy away from the NBA.
But he's trying.
Meantime, former Rice head coach Willis Wilson and former Kentucky assistant Glynn Cyprien were on the Memphis campus Tuesday interviewing for jobs, two sources added. Wilson was the head coach at Rice for 16 seasons. Cyprien was with Billy Gillispie at Kentucky the past two seasons, and was the primary recruiter of Daniel Orton, a 6-foot-9 center ranked as the 12th-best prospect in the Class of 2009.
Orton told Scout.com's Evan Daniels last week that he might re-open his recruitment.
He is expected to make a decision on whether to stay with UK or look elsewhere in the coming weeks.
Posted on: April 10, 2009 1:02 am
Edited on: April 10, 2009 1:05 am
Baylor assistant Jerome Tang has decided to remain on Scott Drew's staff and not move to Memphis, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday. Consequently, new Memphis coach Josh Pastner will continue to operate as a one-man show because he currently has no assistants ... or even a secretary.
"I'm doing it all," Pastner said by phone late Thursday.
Yes, John Calipari even took his office manager (Lunetha Pryor) to Kentucky with him, along with assistants John Robic, Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland. In other words, the basketball office at Memphis is pretty much empty as the April recruiting period gets underway, and it'll stay that way, at least for the time being, thanks to Tang's decision to remain at Baylor one day after interviewing at Memphis .
To put this into perspective, understand that most schools have three coaches on the road right now recruiting.
Meantime, Memphis has one coach ... period.