Josh Pastner stated earlier this month that he was not in a rush to hire a third assistant coach for his staff. Well, he stood by his words and waited for the right moment to make a hire. He interviewed former Tigers star Keith Lee, former Drake head coach Mark Phelps, and former Arizona Wildcat Miles Simon. Unfortunately, none of these guys were hired by Pastner. He ended up hiring his former teammate Jason Gardner from Arizona.
Who is Jason Gardner?
At 5’10″, Jason Gardner was a starting point guard at the University of Arizona from 1999 to 2003. In 2001, the Wildcats lost to the Duke Blue Devils in the national championship game. As a senior in 2003, Gardner was named to the AP Second Team All-American after he averaged 14.8 points and 4.9 assists per game. For his excellent play, his jersey was retired by Arizona in 2005.
He was not drafted by the NBA after his collegiate career ended, but he continued his career as a basketball player by playing overseas. He played in Slovenia, Belgium, and Israel. After his playing days were over, he joined the coaching staff at Loyola University of Chicago for two seasons (2011-2013).
So what will Pastner get from Gardner?
Coach Pastner will be getting a guy who he knows very well. Gardner was a great point guard. Replacing Damon Stoudamire with a guy who played the same position is a plus for Memphis. He can teach all of the guards the ropes of playing at the point guard position. Guards like Joe Jackson will be even more dangerous with Gardner’s knowledge of the game. Next season will definitely be something to watch.
Pastner has won big time with this hire. GO TIGERS!!!!!!!
Story will be updated on tomorrow.