Sports Files with Greg Gaston - Dec. 21, 2012


Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 23.12.2012

Transcript:
>> female announcer: This is a
production of WKNO, Memphis.
Production funding for "Sports
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>> Gaston: My guest today on
Sports Files is Memphis Tigers
Head Basketball Coach Josh
Pastner
>> (instrumental music)
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>> Gaston: Happy holidays
everyone.
There may not be a
harder working coach, more
tireless recruiter, and all
around nicer guy than the Head
Basketball Coach of the
University of Memphis Tigers,
Josh Pastner.
With that said, there are not
too many fans who will slide
Josh any slack if his Tigers
don't produce this season.
And when I say produce, I mean
win at least a game in the NCAA
Tournament.
Pastner is in the midst of his
fourth season at the helm of the
Tigers.
In his previous three seasons
the 31 year old coach produced a
75 and 29 record.
The most wins of any Tigers
coach through their first three
years on the job.
The problem is the Tigers two
trips to the Big Dance under
Pastner have resulted in one and
dones.
In addition, Pastner entered
this season still in search of
his first victory against a
ranked team.
The Tigers began the 2012-13
campaign with easily their
deepest roster in Pastner's four
seasons as Top Cat.
But once again the team stumbled
out of the gate with losses in
two of their first three games,
duplicating their early season
misstep from a year ago.
As usual, Memphis is expected to
feast on Conference USA
opponents and cruise to another
Conference title.
And while that is certainly an
accomplishment for the Tigers,
it's far from their ultimate
goal.
And won't be enough to satisfy
their rabid fan base.
Today, Josh Pastner on the
issues with the Tigers-pro and
con.
Plus, we'll examine their
chances for the rest of this
season and for their future in
the Big East next on "Sports
Files."
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>> Gaston: Josh, happy holidays
to you and thanks for being with
us.
>> Pastner: Thanks, Greg.
Thanks for having me.
>> Gaston: You've had a number
of days now to go back, look at
the video tape of Saturday's
loss to Louisville.
What do you take out of the game
if you can take out anything
positive and then the negative,
as well.
>> Pastner: Well Greg, we are so
much of a different team right
now than we were in the Bahamas.
We are just a better team.
Our energy, I'd like to say, is
at a different level right now,
at a very high energy level.
We're better defensively.
We're better in really every
area.
The thing we've got to-the
negative part of it-the thing
that we've got to correct, as I
call correctables, is the
turnover part of it.
But right now, Greg, even though
we lost to Louisville last week,
bottom line is we are a better
team than where we started.
And that's what fans and people
want to see.
Are you improving?
Are you a better team?
And our road where we're going-
our trajectory is moving upward.
>> Gaston: You'd never want to
lose a basketball game but
again, the difference-night and
day from the Bahamas to what
you're doing now.
So you guys feel pretty good
despites till having not beaten
the top 25 team knowing that
there's not a lot of quality
wins left on that schedule.
You still feel pretty good where
you are?
>> Pastner: Greg, two things.
You know, people talk about this
top 25 thing and I think it's
just so overrated.
We put top 25 teams based on the
rankings, whatever.
In my four years, four of them
came in my first year, okay?
Three came in my second year,
alright?
And then three in the third year
and then the team, Louisville
was the eleventh one.
So, you're talking seven times,
seven opportunities in my first
two years when my team that
first year really wasn't that
talented.
And the second year we were just
full of-it was a brand new team
full of freshmen.
And out of those 11, 7 of the 11
we played were in the top 7 of
the country.
So it's not like we're playing
top.
And the other four were in the
top 15.
So it's not like we're playing
teams number 24 in the country,
number 23.
I think that stats overrated.
And the second thing is I
understand that right now on the
schedule, there might not be
other so-called ranked teams.
We still have a good schedule.
In this day and age Greg,
there's good teams all across
the country.
Just because the ranking-people
think-
It's a different time and age in
the way that the college
basketball game is played.
They are good teams all across
the country.
>> Gaston: I would agree with
you that there's more parody.
There's a lot more teams that
have a chance to make a run in
the NCAA tournament.
But as you know because you went
through it last year when we
talked about seating, you were
disappointed that you were an
eight seed.
And they still go by the
numbers.
They still go with the RPI.
With that said and I know this
is the final year for Memphis
and conference USA, next year
it's a different ball game as
you go in to the Big East.
Although, that's ever changing.
We'll talk about that a little
bit later on.
Do you wish you had scheduled a
few more top tier teams?
>> Pastner: But Greg, here's my
thing.
We played in the Bahamas.
VCU at the time-they're a top 25
team.
They weren't at the time.
Minnesota is a top 10,15 team.
At the time, they weren't ranked
but they are.
I mean, so Northern Iowa is
going to end up being a top 100
RPI team in the end.
So you got that.
You got the Louisville game.
And remember when we did our
schedule?
In scheduling in the preseason
or in the summer, you're doing a
lot of predictions.
So Ohio-we scheduled Ohio.
We expect them to be right at
the borderline top 25.
Harvard was a top 25 team last
year.
We didn't know they were going
to lose two of their best
players because of a situation.
You know, you have Tennessee.
I assumed they were going to be
a top 25 when we played them.
And same as Xavier.
So there's a lot of things that
what goes in the scheduling.
And you know, Oral Roberts that
we play after the Christmas
break?
They're normally a top, you
know, right there, that
borderline team where they
usually win their league and
they win 25 to 30 games a year.
So that's my thing is people
don't always understand that in
scheduling, you're doing
predicting and that's what
you're basing it on.
>> Gaston: Well, true.
And last year you had three top
50 wins over Marshall I think,
just Marhsall.
And Southern Miss.
And I don't know if they get to
that point this year.
So there's still the worry about
seeding when it's all said and
done.
But again, you're worried about
winning basketball games.
You have a chance to make a nice
run here.
>> Pastner: I mean, what we can
focus on, the numbers will take
care of itself, Greg.
What we can focus on is getting
better.
And we have gotten better.
And that's my whole thing is
there is panic mode after the
Bahamas.
And I'm sitting there saying-
hey!
If I had known that the Bahamas
was going to be the NCAA
national championship, well
then-
And then we should shut the
season down after that's over.
It's a long season.
And the job is to get better, to
improve, to continue to play
your best basketball when
conference starts.
>> Gaston: Five of your players
fouled out of that Louisville
game.
I've never seen anything.
I've never heard that before.
I assume it's happened but not
too many times.
You have refrained in
criticizing officials.
You've been very consistent with
that.
But now that you look back at
the video tape and you look at
those plays that were
controversial, what do you have
to say?
>> Pastner: Well, obviously
first and foremost, Greg, I
mean, I've always, as you know,
through my time here try to keep
everything professional and
classy because I also am
representing our young men.
And I'm representing Dr. Raines
and the athletic director, Tom
Bowen, and Tiger nation.
So I want to keep it all above
board.
And that's why I have a all caps
"no comment" with 25 exclamation
points.
>> Gaston: So you won't change
that for me today?
>> Pastner: I won't change that
but I will say in general terms,
a couple of things from looking
back on the tape.
Look, the bottom line is is we
did have too many turnovers.
They, you know, Louisville, one
of the ways they really got back
in the game is they made free
throws.
I mean, they went to the free
throw line obviously and they
made free throws, especially in
that first half because they
were scoring with the clock
stopped.
But that's just the way the game
flows.
That happens.
What we need to do is-and we
understand Louisville is a very
good team.
I mean, obviously Coach Pitino
is going to be in the Hall of
Fame.
I mean, he's one of the greats
in the history of the game.
And they've got a very good
team.
I mean, look Greg.
Bottom line is in the preseason
polls or you talk to all the so-
called experts.
Everyone said either Louisville
or Indiana was going to win the
national championship.
So what it shows you is we would
not have played that well
against Louisville in the
Bahamas.
We had a chance to win the game
verse Louisville.
Bottom line is.
My point is is over the three or
four weeks, we've had a totally
different team.
>> Gaston: Let's talk a little
bit about players.
And just quick thoughts on some
of these guys.
Some that are really playing
well, some that are struggling.
The big question this week since
the Louisville game around the
city-you know fans are pretty
passionate-is what's going on
with Adonis Thomas?
>> Pastner: Yeah, Adonis Thomas,
I mean, going in to this season,
we-when I say we, me and the
coaching staff, his teammates,
Adonis.
We all felt that he was going to
be our best player and kind of
be the guy that stepped up in
the air where we lose Will
Barton.
And in the preseason and the
practices, anyone that came to
watch our practice, he was the
best player.
He was dynamite.
He was making shots.
He was just awesome.
I mean, he was.
It just so happens that he
hasn't got his groove in to
going to the mojo back.
Like I said, he's had that one
great half, that second half
with BCU.
So I thought he was going to
break out of it against Austin
Peay.
He hit the three and then he got
poked in the eye.
Greg, it's just a matter of
time.
And I keep saying this.
Our team can be extremely
dangerous once he gets going
because technically, he's our
best player.
And once he plays to the level
that we need him to play, we can
take off.
He needs to get more in the
glass, rebound more, get to the
free throw line more.
But he's going to snap out of it
and it's only a matter of time.
>> Gaston: How do you explain
the D.J. Stephens phenomenon?
>> Pastner: Well, you know what?
D.J. Stephens, who is a no star
recruit, was only had interest
from Division II schools.
You know, the guys just-you know
what he's done?
He's become one of the all-time
fan favorites.
Not like just a nice little
story.
I mean, like literally up there
with the Elliot Perrys, you
know, with the Andre Turners.
You know, up to that level as in
terms of one of the all-time
favorites of Tiger nation
because he just plays so hard.
He leaves everything on the
floor.
He makes multiple plays per
possession.
>> Gaston: Your team, as you
talked about the improvement it
has made since the Bahamas, a
large part of that, the
emergence of Geron Johnson, and
the development of the young
Shaq Goodwin-two of the
newcomers.
>> Pastner: Well, you know, a
few things.
Geron-I felt maybe the Bahamas
might even be in a different
story if Geron could have played
because here's the thing.
He struggled against in our
opening private scrimmage, the
so-called secret scrimmage.
And then the second thing is
when we played Christian
Brothers, he didn't play well.
And I felt if he got a play that
was first two games of North
Florida and Sanford and kind of
worked out some of the rest and
be ready to go against VCU and
Minnesota-because remember,
Minnesota was his first game.
We're just throwing him in
there.
I'm telling you, we might have
come out of there two and one.
I'm not saying we would have won
the game but-
It's a different fact.
And I told people that.
And I think people maybe believe
me now once they seen him play.
So Geron Johnson is a really
good player.
He brings tremendous energy,
Greg.
He drags people with him because
of his intensity and his
defense.
You know, I probably got to find
more ways to get him even more
minutes on the floor.
People always ask me-Oh, are you
going to start him?
You know, to be determined on
how all that works itself out.
>> Gaston: As long as he's
playing the bulk of the minutes
because if he's not, the
criticisms going to continue.
>> Pastner: No question.
And I understand that.
I want to win games.
And right now, he's playing as
if not our best, one of our best
players on the team.
And so, you know, my whole thing
whether you start, not start.
I mean, look.
You can play 37 minutes and
still not start if that makes
sense.
>> Gaston: You're not foolish.
You know who needs to be in
there to win games.
Real quick on Shaq.
>> Pastner: Yeah, Shaq Goodwin.
You know, he's continued to get
better.
I did not think he had a good
game verse Louisville.
But and I told Shaq this, that-
Hey, man.
You're playing 27 minutes a
game.
You're my starting.
You're in the starting line-up.
You're no longer-I don't want to
hear an excuse.
You've got to bring it because
the load of minutes you're
playing and you being a starter,
the expectation now continues to
rise.
His best basketball is ahead of
him.
I've said this from the
beginning.
I think once we get to January,
he'll take off or he'll be Mr.
Consistent.
Now still right now, he's had
some great stretches, a little
up, a little down.
We just need to get him to where
he's truly consistent.
>> Gaston: Josh, what's your
reaction to when people say-he's
too nice.
He needs to treat these guys a
little tougher.
He needed to get a technical
foul on the Louisville game.
We know you have emotion.
We see you on the sideline.
But you hear that criticism.
>> Pastner: Well, let me say
this.
The criticism line here is a
long line.
There's a long line.
And I understand that.
And that's just part of it.
But you know what?
We've won a lot of games.
We've won more games in my time
here in the span that I've been
the coach than any other coach
in the history of the program.
When we took over, it wasn't
like, you know, we were
decimated when I took over the
program.
And so we've maintained it at a
very, very high level.
We've won over 70 percent of our
games.
We have a perfect APR, perfect
graduation.
You know, during the time we
were on probation and so we're
off of that.
We're recruiting at an all-time
high level.
What happens is, Greg, everyone
gets compared to those four
years of Coach Calipari.
And I love Cal.
I mean, that's my guy.
But those four years is not
reality.
That's not even a Memphis
program, that four year program.
Because Greg, what people don't
get is if you look at the
history of the program is that
four years has never been done.
Forget Memphis.
In the history of the college
basketball.
>> Gaston: You should not be
compared to that.
No body should.
>> Pastner: But that's what
happens.
And I understand.
Like, I'm not defending that.
I'm okay with that.
Like, I welcome it.
But I try to educate people and
say-Hey, look.
That four window-, John Wooden
didn't do it.
Coach K didn't do it.
That was a special, all-star's
light.
>> Gaston: But playing devil's
advocate, you could understand
what fans want.
They want some wins in the NCAA
tournament.
They want to beat some top 25s.
I got back to that.
>> Pastner: But let me say this,
Greg.
I can't win the NCAA tournament
games in December.
There's nothing I can do.
>> Gaston: You feel good about
what's going to happen in March,
right?
>> Pastner: Greg, people-when
we took over the program, it was
decimated.
I mean, we were starting trying
just to hang on.
And it could have gone the other
way.
We've won a lot of games.
We've kept it at a very high
level, kept it at a high level
enough to make sure that we had
an opportunity to get in to
another conference, okay.
In to the Big East.
So there are so many positives.
And the best basketball is
ahead.
And I believe that.
And look, I know I'm not
perfect.
I can look back and recognize
the mistakes I've made.
I just know that, you know-
should I have gotten a technical
foul?
I think that's bologna.
That's bologna.
I'm working the referees.
People say-well, standing up for
your players.
>> Gaston: then if you lose by
two points, you're going to get
the criticism again.
>> Pastner: So it's just-hey,
here's the deal.
We're playing better.
We've gotten better and that's
what's the most important thing.
>> Gaston: Fastest coach by the
way at the University of Memphis
to 75 wins.
So, you know, the stats don't
lie.
But again, I do understand the
fans and they want more.
They want to win the tournament.
They want to win games in the
tournament.
>> Pastner: I respect that.
And let me tell you this, Greg.
No body wants to win more than I
do.
And I want to win it for the
fans.
Like, I love Tiger Nation.
I want to win for the players
and for the fans.
So that's-I sacrifice time with
my own personal family so I can
do everything I can to making
sure that we get the best
opportunity to win.
>> Gaston: josh, you mentioned
the Big East.
Right now, no body knows exactly
what's going on.
I know Tom Bowen, your AD, has
kind of been quiet.
He's read some statements that
came from Michael Resko, the new
commissioner.
What can you say about the
situation knowing it's pretty
volatile?
>> Pastner: Yeah, well, what I
can say for the situation is
obviously, I back obviously my
two bosses and Mr. Tom Bowen and
Dr. Raines and whatever they say
goes.
And so where we're at-hey, we
know were in Conference USA
right now.
Next year we're in the Big East.
And then the year after that,
we're going to be-it's going to
be the Big East or whatever it
may be.
It's going to be a great league.
So my thing is is I get it.
Basketball because of the way
the leagues are, it's all about
football.
And I understand that.
That's just the facts of it.
And no one-we can sit and try to
deny it.
Just like ratings for football
games and I saw this in the
paper that the Indiana-Butler
game was on the national thing,
small rating.
And then they had the Arizona-
New Mexico game.
Or yeah, the Nevada had way
better numbers.
You know, point is is people-
this is a football country.
And there's nothing wrong with
that.
I love football.
You love the NFL and college
football.
So do I.
But so a lot of the driving
force ends up being due to
football.
>> Gaston: And again, you'll
play whosever put in front of
you, whosevers on the schedule.
Real quick and then we'll get in
to five for the road which we do
with all our guests to wrap
things up.
Give me about a minute.
What areas do you need to
improve on as a coach?
>> Pastner: Well, there's a few,
I mean, that come right away.
I'm always wanting to get
better.
You know, areas that I can
improve on, even things with
just stuff, Greg, where I look
at.
Okay, you know, whether it's
even stuff within personnel or
the recruiting certain prospects
and what in fits and different
things like that.
That's just as you go, as you
evolve.
Obviously, you're going to get
better in in-game coaching and
in practice game coaching.
You know what I'm saying?
Just as each day goes by.
So I don't want to hit on say
there's one certain thing.
I recognize that I need to get
better in every area.
That's part of being a human
being.
I'm a better coach today than I
was, you know, three years ago.
I have a better understanding
and the game's slower for me.
And so I get it that I'm going
to continue to improve as an
individual.
I'm not perfect but I also
understand how important it is
to Tiger Nation.
I recognize that and I want to
satisfy the fan base and I
understand the best way to
satisfy the fan base.
The one thing they've never had
here is a national championship.
And we're going to do all we
can.
Everyday we work, we work like
crazy to somehow maybe have an
opportunity to do that one day.
>> Gaston: Alright, perfect way
to wrap up that segment.
We have less than two minutes.
First thing that comes to mind.
It's five for the road, five
quick questions for ya.
Favorite professional team?
And you don't have to say the
Grizzlies and be politically
correct.
Growing up, who was your team?
>> Pastner: You know what?
I love the Boston Celtics
growing up.
And I love the organization, the
New England Patriots right now,
too.
>> Gaston: Okay, favorite
professional athlete growing up?
>> Pastner: You know what?
Pat Tilman.
Pat Tilman-what he did is
unbelievable.
>> Gaston: Absolutely what he
did was unbelievable.
>> Pastner: True hero.
>> Gaston: Alright, I know
you're in to music.
I don't know if you like the
rappers.
They come to Memphis Madness.
I don't know if that's your
genre.
What's your favorite music to
listen to if you have some time
alone?
You just pop something on the
radio going to practice.
>> Pastner: You know what, Greg?
I like a variety of music and I
appreciate music.
But you know what?
I don't have a favorite artist
but I'll tell you an artist I
like that's an old school
artist.
What is it called?
Creedance Clearwater?
>> Gaston: CCR.
>> Pastner: Yeah, CCR.
And so they're good.
And I loved Elton John and Billy
Joel.
I went and saw them face-to-face
in concert.
Yeah, it was a great concert.
>> Gaston: Okay, favorite
television show of all time?
>> Pastner: Favorite television
show-
Alright now, it's Homeland.
>> Gaston: Josh, thank you so
much.
Happy Holidays.
Best of luck as we continue on
with the season.
We'll take a break.
"Overtime" is coming up next.
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>> Gaston: Earlier this month
the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall
of Fame rolled out its class of
2012 in a ceremony at the
Memphis Hilton.
The annual affair showcases some
of the most talented athletes
the city has ever produced.
These athletes played for the
true love of the game and had
much success in careers away
from the ballparks and arenas
and fields that we became
accustomed to seeing them
perform at.
One of the honorees was an
incredible athlete, especially
as a golfer, but on this special
night she was honored as a
"contributor" to amateur sports
in Memphis.
Lynn Parkes has put her stamp on
women's athletics at the
University of Memphis as an
Associate Athletics Director.
And on her special night we
caught up with her, to get a few
thoughts on her latest
acomplishment, Induction into
the Hall of Fame.
>> male announcer: After
graduating from Alabama, Lynn
returned to middle Tennessee and
enjoyed an amateur career that
included playing in the
Tennessee State Amateur, the
Trans National and several
other regional events.
While playing in a golf
tournament at the Windyke
Country Club in Memphis, she met
Elma Roane, the women's athletic
director at Memphis.
Subsequently, Lynn was offered
the opportunity to join the
staff at Memphis State in order
to complete her graduate degree
and help build a college golf
program at the university.
She accepted the position at the
university in 1975 and has
played a major role in their
growth of women's golf in the
Memphis area.
Her role was extremely vital
initiating the women's golf
program and serving as the
associate athletic director and
senior women's administrator.
She's had oversight for several
women's sports which include
basketball, volleyball and
softball.
Also track and field and tennis
for both men and women.
In addition to those
responsibilities, Lynn oversees
the area for compliance and
student athlete services while
she also ahs acted as the
liaison with Conference USA and
the NCAA.
Lynn plans to work at MSU for
another year or so and that
turned in to a 37 year career.
>> Hall: Lynn Parkes's
involvement with the University
of Memphis for women's
basketball and for all sports
really-golf, tennis.
You name it, she was there.
The NCAA recognized her for all
of her abilities and had her on
several committees for the NCAA.
As the president of the fast
break club, sometimes I would
want to do something for the
club and I'd have to run it by
her.
And every once in a while she
would have to say-No, you can't
do that.
So to keep a straight and level.
But she's been a big asset for
the university over the years, a
great, great lady.
Elma Roane picked her and she
did a great job from there on
out.
>> McFerrin: When you look at
athletics at the University of
Memphis, of course, the first
person that you think of is Elma
Roane.
But right after you think of
Elma Roane, the name Lynn Parkes
immediately comes to mind.
Lynn Parkes was a pioneer at the
University of Memphis in the
early days of women's athletics
and she has ushered women's
athletics in to the modern era
of big time sports.
For us, what does that mean?
It means that she is an advocate
for us at every turn whether
it's fundraising, whether it's
building facilities, whether
it's dealing with player issues.
She is a coach's coach.
And there is no one who has had
the impact at the University of
Memphis like Lynn Parkes has had
in our program.
>> Parkes: Well, it's a very
nice honor.
When you look at all the
wonderful athletes that were
honored here tonight and ones
that had been honored in the
previous years, it's quite a
collection of talent in the city
of Memphis.
And it's great to be a part of
that.
>> Gaston: Congratulations to
all of the recent Hall of Fame
honorees.
And that will do it for tonight.
Next week we'll close out 2012
with our Autozone Liberty Bowl
Show.
Until then, remember you can
catch any of our previous Sports
Files shows by logging onto
WKNO-dot-org and clicking on KNO
Tonite.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday's
and we'll see you next time.
>> (instrumental music)
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