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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pastner’s Notebook

    Josh Pastner
    Josh Pastner

    Editor’s Note: Josh Pastner, in his fifth season as one of Lute Olson’s three assistant coaches, periodically shares his thoughts and insights with the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Today, Pastner discusses the departure of coordinator of basketball operations Jack Murphy, Olson’s birthday and the continued recruiting of the 2007 class.

    Wildcat: Jack Murphy left to take a job as the video coordinator for the Denver Nuggets. What are your thoughts on his decision from the team standpoint and as a friend of his?

    “”The only present that we want to give (Lute Olson) as a team is a national championship.””

    – Josh Pastner,
    UA assistant coach

    Pastner: We’re going to miss Jack greatly. He was an unbelievable worker. He made a huge difference with our program. He was the man behind the scenes doing so much. We’re definitely going to miss him, there’s no doubt on that. In terms of a friendship, I’m a real big believer in loyalty, and Jack is as loyal of a friend and as loyal of a person that I’ve ever met. As a friend, I’m going to miss him being around, but he had a great opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.

    W: How do you go about replacing him?

    P: No one’s been named yet and that position will be – it’s coach Olson’s program and he makes those decisions, so that’s going to be his choice.

    W: What was going on with Chase Budinger’s health?

    P: He was under the weather, and he was just sick for a few days and then came back and then had his tonsils removed, so that’s why he was out for a little bit. He came back last week full speed. He looks really good, and he’s getting his conditioning in. …He’s excited that he’s back.

    W: How much weight did he lose during this time, and is he regaining it?

    P: He lost some pounds – I don’t know the exact number – but our strength coach, (Mark) Hill is the best in the business. Him and coach (Corey) Edmond, those guys will have (Budinger) right. They’ll have him ready for the beginning of the season. …It’s going to take him a little time to get his rust off, but he’ll be fine.

    W: Lute Olson turned 72 on Sept. 22. What kind of present did you get him?

    P: There was no present. We got him a big cake. The only present that we want to give him as a team is a national championship.

    W: How did you celebrate?

    P: We were on the road recruiting. With him, that’s probably been (the case) in all his years of coaching, that he’s been on the road recruiting.

    W: You continue to recruit for the class of 2007, despite having five committed players and no evident extra scholarship opening up. Is the continued recruiting an insurance policy?

    P: I think at the level of our program, you just never know. Obviously you can’t have any slippage or any dip in the program, so at the elite level, you’re not going to have every guy as a four-year guy. You have to be prepared when guys leave that they’re ready to have guys come in and keep up the program at the top level. There’s an inexact science about it, but it’s more about being overly prepared than under prepared.

    W: What is the injury status of the team right now?

    P: If we had to play a game tomorrow, all 13 scholarship guys plus David Bagga would be 100 percent.

    W: With practice less than two weeks from beginning, what’s the one thing you stress to the team?

    P: I think we just have to keep keeping getting better. It’s all areas. Talent is not the question. It’s just getting better and the little things, every day, from the defensive stuff to rebounding, the offensive end. I can’t pick apart one area. It’s just the overall game, and we’re getting there, we’re starting to get better, guys are getting the feel of it, and I think those practices that we had the first two weeks of the school year – where we were able to practice 10 (times) before we went to Canada was a huge help.

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