MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Josh Pastner held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to talk about the state of the Memphis Tigers basketball team.
Pastner did not discuss any rumors about his job security in length, but said that any questions about that should go to University President David Rudd.
Pastner said he is coaching to win and is frustrated that they are not winning.
Pastner said that the losses are on him and the losses are not related to a lack of effort on the player's part. He instead pointed to defensive breakdowns as the source of the losses.
"I want to win every game. We're scoring 90 but not getting it done on defense," Pastner said.
Coach Pastner said that his team is blowing games that they should win.
"We should have won Houston. We should have won UConn. We should have won Oklahoma," Pastner said. "When we lose, it falls on my shoulders."
Pastner remained adamant that defensive issues are the reason his team is not performing well.
"If we can be better defensively, we can win the conference tournament," he said.
Pastner does not believe his team is far off, despite the recent disappointing losses to teams such as ECU and Tulane. He said his team has a chance at making a run in the conference championship tournament if they are able to turn things around.
"We need some wins here to get our mojo back and get rolling into the conference tournament."
Pastner said he knows that fans are disappointed at him and he knows that a lot of the blame has been placed on him, but he does not think the entire fanbase has turned against him, citing that "99 percent" of fans that meet him are happy he is coaching.
"I love every second of it. I'm coaching at a great program," Pastner said.
One of Pastner's biggest critics has been the Commercial Appeal's Geoff Calkins.
"Losing to Tulane and East Carolina, getting humiliated by UConn, and missing the tournament what will probably be two years, having recruiting collapse, I've just raised my hand and said 'Hey, look what's happening, it can't go on,'" Calkins said.
Calkins has been open about his feelings in his columns, citing facts and observations, such as Pastner's poor record against ranked teams.
Calkins said Tigers basketball fan attendance has dropped by more than half in two years. That did not sit well with Pastner on his radio show Monday night; he said he'd like to see the number of Commercial Appeal subscribers who dropped after Calkins began writing more than 20 years ago.
"I didn't take any shot, it was at the radio show," Pastner said. "It was no shot. It was just a fun comment. I mean, I didn't think it was that big of a deal."
"I thought it was fine," Calkins said. "Like, I've had to write some difficult things about Josh in the last two years."
Calkins said it was not a personal attack at Pastner and said it does not refute any of the work he's done over the years.
Calkins also added that it is too early to speculate who could replace Pastner, especially since he still has the job.
"I'm not out there and I haven't been out there campaigning for years for Josh to get fired," Calkins said. "What I'm saying is what's happening now does not seem sustainable."
In addition, Pastner also addressed the recent issues Shaq Goodwin has had.
"Shaq's not a bad guy. He made an error...He's a guy that gets caught up in emotion," Pastner said. "(Shaq) has to channel his emotions in a better way."
Pastner confirmed that he is happy as the coach of the Tigers and said he will continue to coach and try to win.
The university issued a statement on the future of their team:
The Tigers are 14-11 on the season and rank seventh in the conference with a 5-7 record in AAC play. The team has lost six of its last eight games and will take the court Wednesday against UCF.