Coach Pastner and his coaching staff at the University of Memphis will not stop at nothing to land the best players out of the 2014 class. They are all spreaded out, looking at different prospects and seeing who would be a great fit for Memphis. As of right now, there are a number of guys that could possibly become a Memphis Tiger.
So far this week, Memphis has scoped out four recruits. Terry Larrier is one of them, with his nice shooting touch from the outside. The 6-8 guard/forward is from Bronx, NY so, he definitely would bring toughness to the Tigers. Tigers seem interested in Larrier, but is he interested in them?
Pastner has attended his games at the Elite Youth Basketball League Peach Jam, but Larrier has not mentioned Memphis as one of the schools on his list. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to people, because Pastner has not had enough time to recruit him due to hiring two new assistant coaches.
At last year’s Peach Jam, the coaching staff for the Tigers were trying to be seen, which is not a bad thing. But this year, they are evaluating the talent without having too much attention drawn to them. Pastner’s main goal is to land another top recruiting class. With him and his coaching staff going to different tournaments, it shouldn’t be difficult at all to pull it off.
“I think we’re probably doing more evaluating at this year’s Peach Jam than the previous years because of the timing of it all,” said assistant coach Aki Collins. “We have a working list of prospects that we’ve seen throughout the course of the year. Now we’re focusing in on their actual skill set and how they fit in.
“After this weekend, we’ll have a better idea of which direction we want to go.”
This off season has been a tab bit rough for Pastner. First, he had to replace two assistant coaches. One of them was Damon Stoudamire, who left for a coaching job in Arizona. As of May, Pastner was also still working on the 2013-2014 roster. With all of this taking place, Pastner still has to recruit for the class of 2014. Unlike last year, the coaching staff doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to the 2014 recruits until this week in North Augusta, S.C.
This is also an unusual year that the Peach Jam is being played a week earlier. What a way to put the coaches in a hole, great job done by the NCAA.
Last year, the Nike Tournament was in the middle of the July evaluation period. This was great because, it gave Memphis a handful of events to decide priority wise heading into a long week of hoops.
“This period is called by the NCAA an evaluation period,” said Pastner. “And we’re evaluating. That’s what we’re doing. I would rather — the times have changed. Sometimes, by the time summer is over, if you haven’t been on the kid a whole year ago, you’re late. But I’d rather be late and not get a kid than take a kid early and be wrong.”
In last year’s tournaments, the coaching staff were trying to reaffirm their interest in the prospects, but this year is totally different. The outcome is simple; it will be based on how well the players play in the tournaments and the coaching staff will go from there.
“We had targeted earlier because we needed such a big class last year,” said Pastner. “We’re just doing a lot of evaluating. I think it’s important. You’re seeing guys in a team element play against great competition, and from there, you’re able to see if it’s the right fit and if we’re the right fit for them. Then you gotta go recruit them.”
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.