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Memphis Tigers Basketball Offensive Success Influenced by Arizona Coach Sean Miller


It’s no secret that Memphis Tigers coach Josh Pastner has been greatly influenced by his ties with the Arizona Wildcats basketball program. Pastner came to Memphis after a successful six-year stint as an assistant coach on Hall of Famer Lute Olson’s staff at Arizona. He was with the Arizona program as a player, administrator and coach from 1996 to 2008.

Current Arizona head coach Sean Miller is credited with helping Pastner revitalize the Memphis offense. Last season, the Tigers increased their scoring average, as well as field goal and 3-point shooting, which Pastner has credited to Miller’s motion style offense.

“Not only coach Olson and coach (Kevin) O’Neill but I’ve been influenced by Sean Miller,” Pastner said to the Arizona Daily Star. “I’ve spent a lot of time picking Sean’s brain from an offensive standpoint. Every summer, I’ve reached out and called him on the phone. I watched his DVDs from clinics. I’ve always loved his offensive stuff.”

While the Tigers offense has been improving, this season Pastner has focused on improving the team statistics in rebounding. Last season, the team finished No. 7 in the rebounding margin category for CUSA.

In his first three seasons as head coach, Pastner has led the Tigers to a 75-29 record. The number of victories is the most by a Memphis head coach in his first three years.

This Saturday Nov. 3 the Tigers will play against Alabama Crimson Tide in a closed scrimmage in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers host the Christian Brothers Bucs in an exhibition at FedExForum on Nov. 7 before opening the season Nov. 12 at home against North Florida Ospreys.

Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery