Chat with Josh Pastner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Memphis coach Josh Pastner stops by to help celebrate Jimmy V Week here at ESPN.
In the 18 years since The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, the foundation has raised more than $100 million. The V Foundation started with the dream of Valvano, the former NC State basketball coach and award-winning broadcaster, as he battled cancer. For more information, or to donate to the V Foundation, call 1-800-4-JimmyV or go here. Every cent of every donation goes directly to cancer research.
Pastner, who took over as the head coach of Memphis on April 7, 2009 after John Calipari left for Kentucky, was the third-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I at the time of his hire. Pastner went 24-10 in his fist season and was named Sporting News C-USA Coach of the Year. With a top-five recruiting class coming into this season, the Tigers look to make a speedy return to the national hoops scene.
Send your questions now and join Pastner Thursday at noon ET!
Josh Pastner (11:57 AM)
Go Tigers! I'm glad to be on so fire away with any questions.
Sara (Brooklyn, NY)
What do you tell your team if anything about the importance of playing in the Jimmy V Classic?
Josh Pastner (11:59 AM)
Playing in the Jimmy V Classic we are playing against a big time program in Kansas, a big time coach in Bill Self, in a big time venue at Madison Square Garden. But above all, it's about raising money for cancer research. To make as much awareness about cancer as we can.
Brad Christian (Memphis, TN)
What are some blessings and curses of following the footsteps of a very successful Coach Cal?
Josh Pastner (12:00 PM)
There's only blessings. Memphis had the most wins in a four year span under Coach Calipari here at Memphis and that put Memphis in the spotlight. It's a great blessing to be able to carry the torch and continue what Coach Cal has done.
Zac (Bartlett, TN)
Are there any future plans to play Louisville or Kentucky within the next few years?
Josh Pastner (12:02 PM)
We are year-by-year with our schedule and nothing is on the schedule for next year but there is a possibility that we will meet one of them in the post season. There is a possibility that we will see one of them in the 2013 regular season.
Leon (Union, NJ)
What part of Jimmy V's message resonates with you the most?
Josh Pastner (12:03 PM)
He lived life full of zest. He lived life everyday and his ESPY speech is one of the greatest speeches of all-time. I especially resonated with "Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever."
Pastner fan (Memphis, TN)
What is the hardest part of recruiting? The easiest?
Josh Pastner (12:05 PM)
Recruiting is very hard because it's a very cutthroat and competitive atmosphere. Schools are going for the top unique athlete. It's not easy but you have to make sure you evaluate the right student athlete for your program. The easiest part is when you sign the kid, when the kid shows up on campus.
What aspect of the game do you want your players to focus on defense, rebounding, athleticism, scoring etc...
Josh Pastner (12:06 PM)
Everything, everything that you said plus etcetera because evry part is important for us to have success.
Rita C.F. (Memphis, TN)
What is the most important thing that you want to teach your student athletes?
Josh Pastner (12:07 PM)
Accountability and responsibility. It's about having principals and holding yourself accountable and being responsible for your actions.
What are your chances at winning the CUSA title this year? I see some teams like UCF have a solid team and good OCC wins (USF - Big East, UF - SEC). Will there be more competition among conference members this year?
Josh Pastner (12:08 PM)
Winning is hard and CUSA is a very underrated league. We have a good league ful of tough teams. We have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do before we get to that point.
What do you feel is the greatest strength of this year's team? The greatest weakness?
Josh Pastner (12:10 PM)
The greatest strength is that we have good guys on our team and I love being around them. Our weakness is that we are a very young team and we show our immaturity on the court at times.
Josh Pastner (12:11 PM)
Thank you everyone for having me on. Root us hard next week as we take on Kansas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden next Tuesday. Go Tigers!