Josh Pastner

Memphis loses to Canadian team for the second time in four days

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Carleton erased any thoughts that Saturday night’s win over Memphis was a fluke after defeating the Tigers for the second time in four days. On Tuesday night, the Ravens ran away with a 92-60 victory over Memphis in Ottawa, Ontraio.

On Saturday night, the Ravens jumped out to an enormous first half lead. They would eventually hold on to an 86-76 win after Memphis outscored them by 16 in the second half, and limited them to only 36 percent shooting. But on Tuesday, Carleton turned a 13-point halftime lead into a 32-point victory. And if you were following L. Jason Smith, of the Commercial-Appeal, who was inside the Ravens’ Nest, live tweeting the blowout loss, you know Carleton guard Philip Scrubb was the star once again.

After scoring 35 points in the first game, the 6-foot-3 guard dropped a game-high 30 in the second meeting. He torched the Tigers in both games, shooting a combined 21 of 36 from the field and 10 of 19 from beyond the arc. Pookie Powell had a team-high 13 for Memphis followed by Chris Hawkins off the bench with 10. Austin Nichols did not play again.

For Carleton, this ends an impressive ends an impressive nine-day stretch. Carleton, the Canadian powerhouse that defeated Final Four-bound Wisconsin last summer, beat Vermont and UIC as well. The only loss Carleton suffered was a 10-point loss to Indiana to start the annual showcase. Scrubb did not play, as he was with the Canadian national team.

Memphis finished the trip 2-2.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.