Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is in his mid-30’s, but he has paid his dues under a long-line of successful coaches, including Lute Olson, Kevin O’Neill and John Calipari.
However when Pastner talked to Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe, the fourth-year head coach made sure to credit Arizona head coach Sean Miller with his offensive success.
Last season, the Tigers increased their scoring average, as well as field goal and 3-point shooting, which Pastner has credited to Miller’s motion style offense.
“Not only coach Olson and coach O’Neill but I’ve been influenced by Sean Miller,” Pastner told Pascoe. “I’ve spent a lot of time picking Sean’s brain from an offensive standpoint. Every summer, I’ve reached out and called him on the phone. I watched his DVDs from clinics. I’ve always loved his offensive stuff.”
Previously, Miller has stated (clip below) that he allows a lot of freedom in his motion style offense. The Arizona head coach said that he only runs a set play about 30 to 40 percent of the time, while facing a traditional man-to-man defense. The rest of the time the Wildcats run what Miller calls its “passing game.”
When set plays break down, Miller has the offense go back to the motion offense, which varies in how it runs from possession to possession. This allows his players to be creative and them feel and chemistry between his players improve over time.
Pastner said Miller’s motion offense is similar to Olson’s but said Miller’s “play after the play” schemes for what to do when a play breaks down are “genius.”
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.