The good will from Pastner’s Year 1 hasn’t yet translated to recruiting

Josh Pastner, understated as ever. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

This never was a level playing field. Josh Pastner arrived in Atlanta seven months before the early signing period. That this recruiting class was especially bountiful in-state stands as yet another reason Mike Bobinski should have fired Brian Gregory a year before he finally did. But we digress.

Pastner and Georgia Tech were playing catch-up ball in a recruiting year where recruiters from every college with a gymnasium had already descended on the Peach State. When Wendell Carter Jr. of Pace Academy signed with Duke in November, conventional wisdom held that Tech and Pastner would do well to win 10 games.

Tech won twice that many, plus one. It reached the NIT final at a time when it was supposed to finish next-to-last in the 15-team ACC. It beat North Carolina. It beat Florida State. It beat Notre Dame. What it didn’t do was land M.J. Walker of Jonesboro or Jordan Tucker of Wheeler, the two best uncommitted Georgians.

They’re uncommitted no more: Walker picked Florida State; Tucker chose Duke. And that, if you’re Pastner, is a double whammy: Not only will they not be Yellow Jackets, they’ll be playing against them in the ACC.

Again, Pastner got a late start. But he also got a slew of feel-good publicity – he was named ACC coach of the year, and the ACC is a coaches’ league – from his team’s surprising season. Wasn’t enough to lure either Walker or Tucker, though.

Maybe next year (and the next, and the next) will be different. For Pastner to consolidate any gains, the years ahead have to be, and he knows it. (Why else would he offer a shout-out to Georgia’s AAU coaches in his introductory news conference?)

In Year 1, we saw that Pastner can actually coach. To lift Tech from the NIT to the NCAA will require better players. There’s no reason to believe he can’t get them – indeed, his reputation pre-Tech was that he was a better recruiter than tactician – but in the years to come he must make a splash in Georgia. He knows that, too.

Reader Comments 0

23 comments
wreckbone
wreckbone

I would hav eto disagree with people calling our coach a "clown"  Ah nice to see the Atlanta Sports blogs.  The most negative sports bogs south of Philly.  


I can't call this coach anything but determined and remarkable.  His dedication is evident and they did over-perform.  The team ran out of gas down the stretch otherwise, we may have made the dance.  We were a bubble team year 1 of a major rebuild.  I like the coach and believe he will get the most out of the players.  The HS kids will take notice he can develop players and I believe we will be fine.  


I look at last year's results as quite [positive.  but others do not calling him a clown and things. He is in the conversation ont eh big recruits and that is already a big lift.  If you can't see that then you must be the one with the red nose.  



BillFarr
BillFarr

Don't hold your breath for big results. This clown came to Memphis on Calipari's coat tails as his assistant. When Calipari left for Kentucky, Pastner got the head coach job. As the effects of Calipari's "name" and recruiting efforts wore off, the Memphis BB program went into a steep decline. Pastner was about to be fired when he got the Clemson job.

He's not a good coach, and has no recruiting "draw". Look for similar results at Clemson. Remember where you heard this first! 


Peacone36
Peacone36

Won 70% of his games and you guys replaced him with a coach who took one year to burn the whole thing to the ground. Maybe the Memphis community is the problem?

DawginLex
DawginLex

You have a real coach

He can coach and recruit

We don't

You will be fine


ErnestB
ErnestB

It is about building relationships, which CJP did not have enough time to do with the 2017 recruiting class.  The fact that we were under consideration from several local top players until the end gives me hope for future classes.


You were right in the first paragraph, we should have gotten rid of CBG a year earlier.  Nice guy and he graduated players but not the right coach for GT.

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

This article is ridiculous.  It most certainly has translated to recruiting.  Tech wouldn't have even had an at-bat prior to CJP. The fact they even listened to Tech this late in the game is a plus and indicative of him pushing Tech up the hill re:  visibility to high value players.  Go find another program to take potshots at Bradley.

khd713
khd713

What I like is that we are now recruiting against the Dukes, Ohio States, Michigans and other big-time basketball programs, whereas under Gregory we were recruiting against the Fordhams, Woffords and Tulanes. It is going to take a while before Pastner starts landing a few of these guys, but it's going to happen. And when it does, watch out.

slydawg
slydawg

They always competed against them. It's just when the chips all fell in line, the players who actually did commit, Tulane and Wofford were seen as their best offers. Some of those players had better offers from bigger programs, but we're treated as more of an afterthought or fill in rather than priority.

For instance, in football, some folks are foolishly impressed when CPJ lands a 4 star who had offers from Bama or OSU, without realizing he offers most top 300 recruits. It's just a matter of how the chips fall.

GTroller
GTroller

CJP is going to be a big time coach and recruiter--- next Billy Donovan.  Stansbury will be calling alumni and flipping over stones in the parking lot looking for money to keep him at Tech in a couple of years.

Hunk
Hunk

The last thing a basketball player today wants is an education. If they were good enough to go directly to the NBA they would. Who would turn down an offer from Duke? FSU is another matter .

Peyton Youmans
Peyton Youmans

Mark, losing out on Tucker and Walker was a bummer, but this recruiting class is way better than it is being given credit for. Alvarado is just the playmaker at PG this team needs, Curtis Haywood II is going to be a surprise on the wing, and Evan Cole is Ben Lammers with 3 point range. It's good for the team that everyone thinks this class is weak though, expectations will be low again next year. People are going to be surprised though.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I don't like one and done players... and won't be upset if we never get any.

North Georgia
North Georgia

No one really cares.  Football state in high school and college.

moboman
moboman

No one tells Duke no, so Tucker doesnt count as a loss .   Would have been nice to have gotten Walker, but too late a start to get him.  

RamblinWrecked
RamblinWrecked

I have no doubt he'll recruit anywhere and everywhere. I'll judge him by next year's class. If he can't pull any 4- or 5-stars then, I'll be worried.

GT_in_CT
GT_in_CT

Sure, make a splash in Georgia, but sometimes I wonder why a school with such a good international reputation isn't getting more international players.  I wouldn't mind winning with players from Africa, Europe, Canada, or anywhere else.  I hope CJP is thinking that way - I know he pursued a French player.

Riceville1
Riceville1

@GT_in_CT  Apparently Gonzaga and Grand Canyon University have better international reputations when it comes to basketball factories.


GT_in_CT
GT_in_CT

@SteveRC I'm not talking about players who were born overseas but played high school in America - they're like Americans.  Think Luke Schenscher or Gonzaga's Karnowski.

slydawg
slydawg

Those schools had no other choice but to heavily invest resources internationally in order to compete...Tech may want to explore the same options.