|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
|No doubt, Josh Pastner's energy has helped him become one of the nation's top recruiters.|
There is no correct answer, of course. If people want to have unreasonable expectations regarding the athletic teams they follow, that certainly is their right.
The logical answer is that the recruiting matters so much more at this point. Pastner is building a program. He was left with a great tradition and magnificent support but no elite players and few serviceable ones.
However, when forward Kuran Iverson of Waynesboro, Va., announced Tuesday he would join the Tigers’ 2013 class, this became the third time in four years in which a top–30 prospect from outside the Memphis area said yes to Pastner (following Will Barton and Jelan Kendrick in 2010, Shaq Goodwin in 2012).
Perhaps Calipari made that seem routine, but it’s almost unheard of in the history of Memphis basketball, which long drew nearly all of its best talents from area high schools. Pastner has been able to succeed in recruiting beyond the backyard while still landing the majority of elite Memphis players, including current Tigers Joe Jackson, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford and Adonis Thomas and 2013 prospect Nick King.