Memphis Basketball: A History of the Fall
The Memphis Tigers fell to the South Florida Bulls today, 80-71. But, this article is not going to be a game review. It’s going to be a review of the state of Memphis basketball, and a history of the fall, of Josh Pastner.
This latest loss was to a 6-21 South Florida team. Memphis has lost games this year to East Carolina, Tulane, and now, South Florida. For those who do not keep up with the American Athletic Conference, those teams ARE the bottom of the standings. The Tigers are now 15-12. That is with a strength of schedule of 158 according to kenpom.com.
Most of the talk in Memphis this week was about the Tigers meeting the attendance numbers needed to get a payout from the Memphis Grizzlies, via their FedEx Forum agreement. They did not reach a favorable number Wednesday night against UCF. The optimistic point-of-view says that Memphis still has two home games against good teams in SMU and Tulsa. So that should help, right? No one really saw a loss at South Florida coming, so that changes things a bit, doesn’t it? It definitely doesn’t help. I have to ask the question, does anyone care anymore?
Ultimately, fans probably should attend the last two home games because the payout is for the university, and they really need the money now, if you catch my drift. It’s also most likely the last two opportunities to see Josh Pastner on the sideline as the head coach of the Memphis Tigers. I would imagine there will also be plenty of opportunities for free tickets. But, you may also have to provide free transportation to the game before many would even consider it. People have to realize Memphis is a blue-collar town where people do not have a lot of disposable income. Now, add the fact that the team is just as poor. Why would anyone spend their hard earned money on this product. This is a simple concept of goods & services, supply & demand.
Memphis still has swallow the pill, and pay the bill for Pastner. He will be owed $10.6M after the conclusion of this season. Memphis will also have the daunting task of a coaching search. The city is already split on Penny Hardaway. A lot of fans think he should be the next coach of the Memphis Tigers. Others think Memphis should hire an established, proven coach. Either way, at this point, everyone agrees that Pastner’s time as head coach of the University of Memphis has come to an end.
Here are links to every article I have written about the Memphis Tigers and Josh Pastner while at MyFantasySportsTalk.com. This is my story of the fall of Josh Pastner…
Austin Nichols to leave Memphis – This was written on July 7th, after one of the biggest nails was driven into Pastner’s Memphis coaching coffin. Austin Nichols was leaving. Nichols would make the seventh Tiger to leave the program in about eleven months. This was the beginning of the end for Josh Pastner.
Attorney flexes muscle on Memphis, Nichols gets unrestricted release – Austin Nichols announced the week before that he was transferring from Memphis. Memphis tried to restrict Nichols transfer to several schools, including Virginia, which is where he ended up, thanks to his attorney.
No Madness Memphis – This was written on August 19th when the university announced that it was killing Midnight Madness. They replaced the event with a “Fan Appreciation Day”, which by the way, was a failure.
Juco bench player decommits from Memphis – Written after Armond Davis decommitted from Memphis. Davis came off the bench at Southern Idaho Junior College.
Jaylen Fisher picks UNLV over hometown Memphis – This was written after Jaylen Fisher, the ESPN 34th ranked 2016 prospect, committed to UNLV over Memphis. Fisher plays for Bolton High, a Memphis area school.
#8 Oklahoma avoids upset at Memphis – This was written with the utmost optimism. The Tigers played very well at home against Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners. In my opinion, this was the Tigers best performance of the year.
Memphis’ 16 field goals not enough to beat UT-Arlington – This was after the Tigers lost a home contest to UT-Arlington. Memphis hit only 16 field goals in the game.
Memphis wins AAC opener against Tulane – This was written after the Tigers start 1-0 in the American Athletic Conference by beating Tulane in the FedEx Forum. The Tigers were 9-3 at this point, but there was still a lot of reason for concern.
Memphis divorce from Pastner imminent? – This was written after the Tigers lost to East Carolina at home on January 24th. At the time, it was considered to be one of the worst losses of Pastner’s career at Memphis. Unfortunately, that loss would soon have company. It appears that we can now erase that question mark in this headline.
Brandon Reid covers NCAAB and the Memphis Tigers for MyFantasySportsTalk.com, you can follow him on Twitter @New_Breid
He is from Memphis and graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He loves the Memphis Tigers, Grizzlies, Titans, and Arkansas State Red Wolves.
“I promise to bring information, insight, and strong opinion. Let the debate begin.”
You can follow Brandon on Twitter @New_Breid