Five things you need to know about basketball coach Josh Pastner

The fate of Georgia Tech basketball in this man’s hands

With our basketball fate in the hands of a new coach, we’ve gone over the crucial facts to know about coach Pastner.

Here’s hoping for the best for next season.

He’s a recruiting genius

Pastner started viewing basketball from the coaching aspect at the young age of 16, taking over for his dad’s exceptional AAU team as their 16-year-old coach. Along with this, he published an annual scouting report rating players around the Houston area. His efforts since arriving at Tech have not gone unnoticed, spending countless hours filling recruiting boards and focusing on the challenge of recruiting to play for Tech.

Despite being an ACC competitor, Tech’s rigorous academic requirements tend to drive away many potential players, a recruiting issue Pastner will face. His first big test will come with his current commits, especially outstanding forward Romello White (ranked as a four-star recruit and 69th best in the nation by, and seeing how he can keep them on board with Tech.

Another interesting target would be “Mr. Basketball,” an Illinois-native point guard named Charlie Moore, who reversed his commitment to Memphis following Pastner’s leave. Both White and Moore would provide depth to an increasingly depleted Tech squad, burdened by the loss of numerous transfer seniors.

McCamish Pavilion, the new home of Coach Pastner

He’s also an actual genius

After enrolling at the University of Arizona as a walk-on basketball player, Pastner put more to his name than the 1997 national championship. Pastner was able to graduate from Arizona in two and a half years, and if that doesn’t shock you, he went back and got his masters degree from Arizona in a year. And if that doesn’t shock you, he accomplished this by taking at most 33 units in a semester. His 33 units roughly translates to 33 hours here at Tech.

Still not impressed? On a basketball note, he was named the “shot specialist” on the Arizona team, helping teammates such as former Atlanta Hawk Mike Bibby and another former Hawk and NBA champion Jason Terry.

His records are insane

Pastner holds an immense amount of records, including being the 2013 Conference USA Coach of the Year along with the winningest coach over their first five-year span at Memphis (which is huge considering he took over for current Kentucky coach John Calipari). He has a 453-151 record in all college basketball games he has been involved in (as a player, assistant, or head coach), and has received 18 postseason berths in 20 seasons in that same span.

On top of this, he has only ever been featured in ESPN’s Not Top 10 once in 20 years, which was not even his fault, a record I believe holds more weight than others. The only downfall to these numbers are his postseason numbers. Despite being wildly successful in the postseason as a player, he was on the receiving end of numerous NCAA tournament upsets, including two first round losses in consecutive years.

Will this change on the Flats or will we crack the 64?

We will see more wins under Pastner

A bold prediction to make considering he has been our coach for about a week, and since the ACC provides more than a formidable challenge year after year, but I think we will see this as true. While riding the high of the NIT push Gregory made, we cannot forget our remarkably average season.

Despite beating UVA and Notre Dame at home, we faced embarrassing losses to Eastern Tennessee State and Georgia. According to numerous analysts, those two games could have placed us in the NCAA tournament. Under Pastner, we can expect more controlled endings to games and consistency. While this may lead to less dramatic comebacks, it will mean better ball handling and less need for dramatic comebacks, a trade off I’m willing to take.

Pastner starts fresh

Pastner gets to virtually restart the offense, looking at an offense headed by Tadric Jackson and Ben Lammers, instead of Marcus Georges-Hunt, Adam Smith, and Charles Mitchell. Jackson showed some serious promise as a backup point man this season, and will presumably be taking over the top job this year. Lammers also showed amazing aptitude at defense, a strength Pastner will probably utilize greatly this fall.

Tech, however, has many gaps that are yet to be filled, especially at the forward position, that could provide that challenge. While the recruiting board (finally) looks promising, Pastner will face an immediate challenge in getting those guys ready for ACC competition.

To keep up with Georgia Tech Basketball and Coach Pastner, like The Tab Georgia Tech on Facebook and follow @GTJoshPastner for updates from the man himself.

Georgia Tech