RALEIGH, N.C. — So, at the Saturday press conference at PNC Arena, a Washington Post reporter asked Tigers coach Josh Pastner what would it mean for the team to advance to the Sweet 16. Here is Pastner’s reply, which you may notice did just about everything but answer the actual question:
“If we don’t get out of this first weekend, I might be working with you at the “Washington Post” next week with the fan base
in Memphis. So no, I mean, look. Last year, they’re always going to find something in the sense
of — and I said this last night and I really believe it. I’m just not a negative guy. I don’t like negative
energy. I believe positive energy. I believe in it. I believe in positive creates positive. I think when
you have a positive energy … it’s contagious. Negativity just — so I’m not into
negativity. People are going to find stuff, not only locally, but nationally. Going into this season, we
beat St. Mary’s, top 25 in the coach as poll. This season, we haven’t beat anybody in the top 25 in
the AP poll. We won that. One time, we’ve never won a game with Jay Bilas doing the game. There
will be about seven other eight other things. So I recognize that — let me tell you this.
We’ve won a lot of games. We’ve won 75, 76 percent of our games in the five years there. And
guys are graduating at record pace. We’re back-to-back Final Fours in the academic, in the
Journal of Higher Education if it was just based on academics.
So, you know, usually when you win that type, 75, 76 percent, people, you get a statue built
of you. I was following John Calipari, who had won in his last four years over 90 percent of his games.
And I understand it. That’s what I was going to be compared to. Every day, that’s what I’m compared
to is those Final Four years. In those Final Four years, Coach Calipari went Elite 8, Elite 8, National
Championship, Sweet 16. In Memphis that’s what I’m compared to is those four years because that’s
who I’m following. That’s why I got the job, because nobody wanted to follow him. They all want to follow me
now. So I recognize that. I accept it, and I just, we got to try to win and try to win as many as we can.
We’ve won a lot of games in our time too.”