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The Daily Wildcat

 

“Miller, Horne find irony in Josh Pastner’s Arizona past”

March 15, 2007 Head coach Lute Olson (back) and assistant coach Josh Pastner watch Arizonas at the New Orleans Arena, Thursday, March 15, 2007 in New Orleans.
Chris Coduto
March 15, 2007 Head coach Lute Olson (back) and assistant coach Josh Pastner watch Arizona’s at the New Orleans Arena, Thursday, March 15, 2007 in New Orleans.

 

Arizona head coach Sean Miller knows the history of Arizona basketball better than anyone.

As his team began to watch film yesterday in preparation for their second round match-up against Memphis on Friday, he knows the impact that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner made on the program that Miller runs today.

“”I’m familiar with Josh Pastner and have great respect for who he is,”” Miller said, “”certainly great respect for what he did at Arizona, not only during his playing days, all the hard work he put in as an assistant coach here.””

Pastner, a former player and assistant under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson was known as a master recruiter for Arizona during his time at the program. Pastner was a walk-on when the Wildcats won the National Championship in 1997.

When Arizona was searching for a new head coach following the Olson debacle, many Arizona followers thought Pastner would be the man. After a prolonged search, then athletic director Jim Livengood went with a more experienced Miller.

Pastner was known for his tireless work throughout his time at Arizona and Miller is fully aware of that.

“”I know how hard he’s worked, and I know he’s recruited some great players here; he coached hard and loves Arizona. It’s ironic that we play him, but many times that’s what happens in this tournament.””

Miller doesn’t know Pastner personally but has had conversations and seen the former Wildcat on the recruiting trail.

“”I got to know him a little bit more when he was at Memphis for that brief time as Memphis as an assistant coach,”” Miller said.

Miller recalls Pastner and former UA manager and current Memphis assistant Jack Murphy, being very supportive when he received the job at Arizona.

He’s been great to me like all the former players have been,”” Miller said. “”Anything that we asked, advice, he always been accessible, as has (Memphis assistant) Jack Murphy. I know those two guys love Arizona just because of all the different things they’ve done to try to help us.””

The respect between the two coaches is mutual.

Pastner remembered talking to Miller after he was announced the new coach at Arizona telling him, “”Sean, you are going to do unbelievable there.””

“”And he’s done unbelievable,”” Pastner said following Selection Sunday. “”I mean, the guy can flat out coach. “”He’s done an amazing job there. He won the Pac-10 Championship.””

Miller isn’t the only member of the current Arizona program to be familiar with Pastner. Senior Jamelle Horne was a freshman at Arizona when Pastner was an assistant for Kevin O’Neill in 2007-08.

Horne recalls the determination that his former coach brought to the table every day.

“”Just an intense guy,”” Horne said. “”He’s very passionate about the game. There’s not much to what he does ,but what he does works.””

Pastner’s methods worked enough to get Horne, who was a five star recruit, to become a Wildcat.

“”I committed to Josh,””said Horne recollecting his days as a recruit, saying it was Pastner, not Olson, that made him commit. “”He was my caretaker; he was the reason why I came here. Lute of course played a huge factor, that opportunity to play under him didn’t actually fall through. Josh was at every game, every AAU tournament, he was just super persistent.””

Horne remembers the constant phone calls and texts from Pastner to convince him to come to Arizona.

“”He’s probably the reason why I went here because he doesn’t stop with the texting and the calling,”” Horne added. “”When it’s legal, of course, during NCAA time.””

So when Memphis showed up on the screen under Arizona on Selection Sunday, the senior was surprised that he’d be going up against his former coach.

“”It was very ironic,”” Horne said. “”It’s a small world to see Josh Pastner on that sideline actually playing against him, when three years ago that guy was my coach.””

For some that follow the Arizona program, it’s tough to watch the Wildcats go up against one of their own, a sentiment that Miller shares.

“”I wish we weren’t playing them because he’s done so much to Arizona,”” Miller said. “”Nonetheless that’s the game we’re playing so we’re getting ready.

“”We look forward to the match-up in the tournament.”” 

Arizona head coach Sean Miller knows the history of Arizona basketball better than anyone.

As his team began to watch film yesterday in preparation for their second round match-up against Memphis on Friday, he knows the impact that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner made on the program that Miller runs today.

“”I’m familiar with Josh Pastner and have great respect for who he is,”” Miller said, “”certainly great respect for what he did at Arizona, not only during his playing days, all the hard work he put in as an assistant coach here.””

Pastner, a former player and assistant under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson was known as a master recruiter for Arizona during his time at the program. Pastner was a walk-on when the Wildcats won the National Championship in 1997.

When Arizona was searching for a new head coach following the Olson debacle, many Arizona followers thought Pastner would be the man. After a prolonged search, then athletic director Jim Livengood went with a more experienced Miller.

Pastner was known for his tireless work throughout his time at Arizona and Miller is fully aware of that.

“”I know how hard he’s worked, and I know he’s recruited some great players here; he coached hard and loves Arizona. It’s ironic that we play him, but many times that’s what happens in this tournament.””

Miller doesn’t know Pastner personally but has had conversations and seen the former Wildcat on the recruiting trail.

“”I got to know him a little bit more when he was at Memphis for that brief time as Memphis as an assistant coach,”” Miller said, referrnig to Pastner’s one-year stint under then-coach John Calipari.

Miller recalls Pastner and former UA manager and current Memphis assistant Jack Murphy, being very supportive when he received the job at Arizona.

He’s been great to me like all the former players have been,”” Miller said. “”Anything that we asked, advice, he always been accessible, as has Jack Murphy. I know those two guys love Arizona just because of all the different things they’ve done to try to help us.””

The respect between the two coaches is mutual.

Pastner remembered talking to Miller after he was announced the new coach at Arizona, telling him, “”Sean, you are going to do unbelievable there.””

“”And he’s done unbelievable,”” Pastner said following Selection Sunday. “”I mean, the guy can flat out coach. “”He’s done an amazing job there. He won the Pac-10 Championship.””

Miller isn’t the only member of the current Arizona program to be familiar with Pastner. Senior Jamelle Horne was a freshman at Arizona when Pastner was an assistant for interim head coach Kevin O’Neill in 2007-08.

Horne recalls the determination that his former coach brought to the table every day.

“”Just an intense guy,”” Horne said. “”He’s very passionate about the game. There’s not much to what he does, but what he does works.””

Pastner’s methods worked enough to get Horne, who was a five star recruit, to become a Wildcat.

“”I committed to Josh,””said Horne recollecting his days as a recruit, saying it was Pastner, not Olson, that made him commit. “”He was my caretaker; he was the reason why I came here. Lute of course played a huge factor, that opportunity to play under him didn’t actually fall through. Josh was at every game, every AAU tournament, he was just super persistent.””

Horne remembers the constant phone calls and texts from Pastner to convince him to come to Arizona.

“”He’s probably the reason why I went here because he doesn’t stop with the texting and the calling,”” Horne added. “”When it’s legal, of course, during NCAA time.””

So when Memphis showed up on the screen under Arizona on Selection Sunday, the senior was surprised that he’d be going up against his former coach.

“”It was very ironic,”” Horne said. “”It’s a small world to see Josh Pastner on that sideline actually playing against him, when three years ago that guy was my coach.””

For some that follow the Arizona program, it’s tough to watch the Wildcats go up against one of their own, a sentiment that Miller shares.

“”I wish we weren’t playing them because he’s done so much for Arizona,”” Miller said. “”Nonetheless that’s the game we’re playing so we’re getting ready.

“”We look forward to the match-up in the tournament.”” 

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