Weird Expectations

There was an odd moment in Josh Pastner’s press conference after the Southern Miss game – and I think it explains (perhaps more than) a little about Tiger basketball and where we’re at as year 7 of Pastner’s era gets rolling…

Media member:  “Josh does Dedric surprise even you sometimes with what he sees as it’s in the process of happening?”

Presumably the questioner was referring to court vision, passing, and the overall ‘feel’ that Freshman Dedric Lawson has for the game of basketball as he begins his career.  The younger Lawson brother had 5 assists in his college debut.

Simple, specific, question – which makes what happened next seem out of place.

Pastner:  “I think Dedric and KJ (Dedric’s brother, also a Freshman), will be two of the best to come out of Memphis to play here at Memphis.  I really believe that.”

Say what?

I’ll take Pastner at his word that he really believes that. But even so, why would he say it?

Now to be fair, Pastner went on to remind everyone that the Lawsons are Freshmen and will get better with time. But is this really the type of expectation building statement that is productive for the Lawsons, the program, or the fan base at this point in time?

Going into a higher pressure test against Oklahoma on Tuesday?

I can’t imagine that it is.

Maybe Pastner is right. Maybe the Lawsons will have careers that rank right up there with Anfernee Hardaway, Larry Finch, Lorenzen Wright. Maybe they’ll both have lucrative NBA careers.

But the question was about court vision.  Not about whether or not KJ Lawson will be as good as Penny Hardaway.

But after one game of their freshman season, against Southern Miss, in which the brothers combined to shoot 7-20 from the field?  Seems counter productive in a lot of ways.

Not a big deal, just sort of weird.