Josh Pastner

Josh Pastner’s monster 2013 recruiting class officially coming together on Signing Day

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Memphis coach Josh Pastner is stockpiling talent for his program’s move to the Big East next season, and it’s all beginning to come together on National Signing Day.

In all, Pastner and the Tigers have five commits from the Class of 2013, four of whom are Top-100 prospects, plus highly recruited local product Markel Crawford.

Memphis has already officially recognized the signings of Kuran Iverson and Pookie Powell via the team’s Twitter account and others are expected to sign this week.

According to John Martin of the Commercial Appeal, five-star forward Austin Nichols and Memphis native Nick King are expected to sign Friday. Crawford is expected to sign later today.

The key to Pastner’s class is not only the talent he’s been able to reel in, but where he is getting that talent from. In 2013, he managed to grab the Tennessee natives King, Crawford, and the keystone, Nichols.

It continues the local success that he has had, which includes current Tigers Adonis Thomas, Chris Crawford, Joe Jackson, and Tarik Black.

As the signatures keep flowing in for 2013, Pastner and his team are 1-0 this season and play again Saturday against Samford.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.