But wait! Georgia Tech, seemingly out of left field, has just snatched Josh Pastner from Memphis. The son of a big-time AAU/High School coach in Houston, Pastner walked on at Arizona and won a title in 1997. He’s become one of the best recruiters in the country, and lured plenty of elite talent to Memphis, but the knock on him was coaching ability. What did he do with all that talent? For starters, he never got to a Sweet 16. And he’s missed the tournament the last two years.
I’d expect those struggles to continue at Georgia Tech, at least initially.
Perhaps more interesting: Where Memphis will turn for a coach. Is Gregg Marshall of Wichita State going to be the guy? Marshall’s two star guards graduate, and though the Shockers will be a Top 25 team next year, this might be the perfect move for Marshall.
After taking Winthrop to three straight NCAA Tournaments, he went to Wichita State and by his 4th year he won an NIT Title. Five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament followed, including runs to the Sweet 16 and Final 4.
Marshall should have a chance to succeed at Memphis if he takes the job. The team’s best player, freshman Dedric Lawson (15.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg) will return, and so will forwards KJ Lawson (8.8 ppg) and guard Avery Woodson (team-best 77 three-pointers made, 43 percent shooting on them). [UPDATE: Woodson is transferring.]