Josh Pastner should fill that third assistant’s position


Josh Pastner would be foolish not to hire a third full-time assistant to his staff.

College basketball coaches are robots. Between the time they spend recruiting, watching film, designing practice schedules — you know, doing the things that coaches do — and making sure to spend time with their families, most of these guys are already running on a handful of hours of sleep a night during the season.

Pastner has a reputation for being a workaholic with an aversion to rest. If he decides to be the “head coach and assistant”, as he told Jason Smith of the Commercial Appeal, it will be like setting the deck so the guy with the big stack of chips flops a full house.

“I’m not going to hire someone just to hire someone,” Pastner told Smith. “If we’ve got to go with a smaller staff, we’ll deal with it. Everyone’s got to pick up more responsibility and get the job done.”

I’m sure that the Memphis staff can manage building game plans and running practices and winning games without an extra member on the staff. But what about recruiting? During the season the season, the Memphis coaching staff still has to get out on the road and watch the kids they are recruiting.

Why not use that third assistant’s position to hire someone strictly for recruiting purposes? He doesn’t have to speak in practice. He doesn’t have to help break down film. All he really needs to do is take four or five Memphis shirts on the road with him and show up at some high school games during the season. Let the kids like Jarnell Stokes or Archie Goodwin — you know, those really, really good high school seniors that are considering Memphis — know just how interested you are.

Not having that third assistant on the road recruiting during July already put them at a disadvantage. Its like playing pick-up at the park — if you show up with three of your friends, you aren’t going to play 5-on-4. You’ll pick up a fifth even if he does look like this.

Gary Parrish has a better idea. He says that Pastner should hire the father of one of the recruits they are chasing. As long as it is to one of the three official assistant positions, its legal to hire a father to sign his son.

Either way, Pastner would be silly not to take advantage of that third assistant’s spot.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.