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Pastner meets with the media: On Arizona, youth, Derrick Williams and more

As energetic as always, Memphis coach and former Arizona Wildcat Josh Pastner met with the media Thursday.


Memphis coach Josh Pastner met with the media in Tulsa on Thursday to talk about his team’s NCAA Tournament game against Arizona on Friday.

Through the magic of fast transcripts and the internet, you can read everything Pastner and selected Memphis players had to say at the podium at ASAP sports. Here is a sampling:

Pastner’s opening remark:

“This is my 14th time I’ve been part of the NCAA Tournament, and I used to always come in the back to watch the coaches speak to the media. When Lute Olson and John Calipari would be in the media it would be packed. With me there’s only a few people. So I recognize the difference between being a Hall of Famer and not. There you go (smiling). …

“We’ll have to play a great game. We’ll be ready to go, but we know we’re playing a great basketball team in Arizona. Just since everyone’s been asking about me being my alma mater, I love Arizona. I was there for 12 years. Loved every second being there. I loved my time there. Got a bachelor’s and masters from there. Was part of great wins there. And some of my best friends are there in Tucson.

“But the facts are I bleed blue and gray. I love where I’m at. I’m all about Memphis. I do stay up late at night and watch the Arizona games on TV, and I root for Arizona when they’re playing in the Pac-10. This will be the one time I’m not rooting for them. Other than that, that’s where we’re at.”

Q. Because you’re perceived as such a nice guy, what was the process of establishing yourself as the last line of discipline as the head coach?

COACH PASTNER: Well, let me tell you this: I believe in — I don’t believe in motivating through fear. I believe in respect. I believe in being positive, and I believe in being honest.

But if you look at my track record, I believe in discipline. I believe in structure. If you look at how things have gone, there will be consequences for behaviors. Some of the consequences could be as short as running or to not starting or to dismissal. And if some consequences don’t alter the behavior, then it’s my responsibility to change consequences. Those are the facts.

I will not change on those. I will not compromise on those. I believe to win at the highest level you have to have discipline. Again, discipline isn’t about screaming and yelling. This is one of my personal beliefs. It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong or there’s any success to it. This is what I believe. I don’t believe discipline screaming and yelling and motivating through fear. My personal belief is actions. So if you screw up, there are consequences.

Q. Can you talk a little more about Derrick Williams? You’ve talked about how highly you think of him, but what about his game specific?

COACH PASTNER: Derrick Williams, like I said, I voted for him for National Player of the Year. First of all, you’ve got to give Tim Floyd and his staff a lot of credit because Derrick Williams wasn’t highly ranked or rated, and they signed him in the early signing period.

Once the coaching change happened and he was released, everybody tried to get involved and everybody realized how good he was. So you’ve got to give those guys credit for being able to recognize that talent.

Then you’ve got to give the second credit to Sean Miller for the job he’s done in developing Derrick. I thought Derrick was going to be very good, but not to this level. And that’s a credit to Sean for what he’s done in developing him. The guy can score all over the place, he can shoot the three. You look at his numbers, he can score in the paint. He can pass. He’s a lottery pick.

I mean, heck, again, I’ve never been in the NBA. But the guy could maybe even be the number one pick in the draft.

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