Jul 19, 2011, 2:47 PM EST
Memphis and Tennessee managed to turn a non-existent rivalry into a pretty decent mid-season showdown the last few years.Pastner has ‘no desire’ for Memphis to play Tennessee
But Tigers coach Josh Pastner would rather the game went away.
“I have no desire to play Tennessee,” Pastner said on WNML-AM 990, via Kyle Veazey of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. “I don’t think it does us any good. I’m just being honest with you. For us, it’s a game that, I don’t know why we play it, but we play it because the athletic director wants me to play it and he’s my boss and what he says goes.”
“It’s a great game for the fans and the state, but as a head coach, it’s something that I’d rather play someone else,” Pastner said.
Not that he’s scared. He just would rather not give the Vols an opening to the fertile Memphis basketball talent. Why give the state’s big dog an edge?
Thing is, as Justin Young points out in his blog, Memphis has since seven players from the Memphis area since 2003. Tennessee has only signed two, and only Dane Bradshaw actually played for the Vols. If Bruce Pearl can’t make a dent in the Tigers in-town stronghold, should Pastner really be worried?
(If he’s worried about exposure, don’t play Duke or North Carolina or Kentucky. Those are the schools who could nab Memphis talent. Also, work on that awful offense. That would dissuade potential recruits as much as anything.)
The Tigers and Vols have played every season since 2005-06, with the Vols going 4-2 in those games. If Memphis ever did ditch the Vols, there’s an ideal school that could fill that schedule void.
Never got to see Memphis vs. Louisville in the ‘80s when it would’ve been at its peak. But I’m all for bringing it back as a regular series (they’re playing the next two seasons). Always room for another marquee non-conference showdown.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- No. 8 Notre Dame upset by Pitt 0
- Auburn coach Bruce Pearl greeted with cheers during first return to Tennessee (VIDEO) 0
- Rick Pitino on Terry Rozier’s impending NBA Draft decision: ‘He’s not coming back’ 0
- Weekend Preview: Duke-Virginia, an MVC showdown and UNC-Louisville 2
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program 13
- Chase for 180: Already a good shooter, Tyler Harvey’s been even better in 2014-15 0
- Film Session: The case for Jerian Grant as National Player of the Year 1
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program (13)
- Bill Self on the loss of Kansas-Missouri rivalry: ‘It hasn’t been great’ (8)
- Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke (7)
- Coach K earns career win No. 1,000 in No. 5 Duke’s win over St. John’s (4)
- Kentucky lands commitment from international Class of 2016 big man (4)