Friday, April 10, 2009

Pastner the Prodigy

No one told Mozart he was too young to compose music, so why should anyone say Josh Pastner is too young to coach basketball? While researching a little more into Josh Pastner's pedigree as a coach, I came across an old SI article. You can click on the title above to read for yourself, but for the lazy folks, here are the highlights:

- Started a high school basketball scouting service at age 14.
- Started an AAU team (Houston Hoops) with his dad. Josh took over at age 16.
- While in high school, college coaches would contact him daily, not for his playing ability, but his coaching ability.
- 3 Top 20 college basketball programs offered him assistant coaching jobs out of HIGH SCHOOL.

After reading this article, I will applaud Memphis for one reason. For the first time in the history of our athletic program, we have been innovative, trailblazing, or whatever you want to call it. We could have just hired a coach that with his experience and expertise, would have been hired if he had more gray hair by Arizona, Kentucky, or anyone else with an opening for a top job.

Let's look at some of his qualities that make him a perfect head coach.

1. He sleeps 4 hours a night - most of the time this isn't a good thing. This usually means that your coach is on the verge of an Andy Kennedy type incident but not Pastner. Pastner doesn't drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, and tries to mind his tongue. This brings us to the next point:

2. He works his tail off - Since he was 16 years old, he has arranged travel, tryouts, and anything dealing with operating an AAU team. He went to class, played on basketball, watched 25 hours of film per week, and ran Arizona's star players through extra drills after practice. As a coach, he was the top recruiter in Arizona and Memphis. You can't be a top recruiter without outworking the next guy.

3. He knows his stuff - You don't talk basketball with top college coaches since you are a teenager and not have some of it rub off. Also considering that he was offered a scholarship as a "coach-in-training", he must be ahead of the game. Has that ever happened before?

While some aren't ready to fully trust Pastner, I am not one of them. Forget his age, look at his accomplishments. Pastner is Prodigy.



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