Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Memphis’ Barton Breaks Down During Press Conference
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Will Barton broke down in tears on the dais and took all the blame.
“I was selfish, man,” he said following No. 8 Memphis’ 61-54 loss to No. 9 St. Louis here at Nationwide Arena. “I’ll never forget this game. I let my team down.”
Memphis led by as many as eight points in the second half, but after Barton put up a layup that didn’t hit anything but the backboard, teammate Chris Crawford went off.
“Why the f*** are you taking that shot?” Crawford said, according to courtside sources.
Barton then began jawing at Crawford and the two had to be separated by assistant coach Damon Stoudamire.
Barton continued to bark once he got to the bench during a timeout.
After Memphis led 37-29, St. Louis rattled off a 23-7 run to go ahead 52-44.
“I’ve been strong the whole year,” said Barton, who finished with 16 points and 4 rebounds. “It just got to me today, man. I just feel like I cost us a game, man. And I know we should be playing Sunday. It’s tough.”
Memphis coach Josh Pastner quickly stepped into to stick up for his player.
“Let me butt in one second,” Pastner said during the press conference. “This isn’t on any individual. This is a total team….When you lose that falls on the coach. Players win games; coaches lose games. I’ve always said that to the guys, and I believe that. And we wouldn’t be here without these two guys [Barton and Joe Jackson].
“Will Barton had one of the great sophomore seasons in the history of Memphis basketball. One of the great sophomore seasons.”
Photo: Commercial Appeal
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.