The main criticism is focused around the fact that many believe his teams have underachieved. Keep in mind that Memphis spent a long time trying to fill the vacated position after John Calipari left for Kentucky. After a long search, Memphis ended up with a relatively unknown recruiter.
When Coach Pastner filled that position, he was left with a very short list of talent. Wesley Witherspoon was the last man standing as all of the talent that Pastner recruited for Memphis decided to break their commitments and go with Calipari to Kentucky (with the exception of Xavier Henry who went to Kansas).
In other words, Calipari timed his transfer from Memphis perfectly...assuming he wanted to leave Memphis in shambles. He had tons of talent replacing the many great players that left that year, but none of them stayed with Memphis. Also, as is typical of Calipari, he left while Memphis was being investigated by the NCAA for violations concerning Rose.
So, to recap, Pastner walked in with one decent player, investigations, zero recruits, and with absolutely no public notoriety.
What did he do? Did the program fall back into the Tic Price era? Nope! He went out and recruited the best players from Memphis. He picked up Joe Jackson (McDonald's All American) and built on that success with adding two more All Americans.
This is where the crowd starts to complain. They say he has three All Americans, but can't beat teams in the NCAA tournament. Forget for a minute that his first 4 years were the most impressive of any Tiger coach in history..including Calipari.
There are reasons why these All Americans aren't winning. The main issue is that Joe Jackson is 6 foot tall (supposedly) and weighs 170 pounds soaking wet. He typically gets manhandled by bigger players. He has gotten better in the last year, but he still needs to put on some muscle to really compete with players like Kwamain Mitchell (who dominated him in the NCAA last year).
Shaq Goodwin is another All American. He was a freshmen and had the typical ups and downs. The main issue with his season is that he was moved to center, which is not his natural position. Tarik Black, who normally plays center, was benched for an "internal manner", then suffered from a groin injury. When he came back, he was either out of shape or still injured.
The best recruit by Memphis was definitely Adonis Thomas. The guy was absolutely unstoppable in high school and had a high grade point average, which made you believe he would be "teachable". His freshman year, he hurt his ankle and had to have surgery. This season, he was not the same player. My guess is that he is still injured, permanently damaged, or afraid to hurt it again. I am not sure of the reason, but he just can't jump like he did in high school. Below is a highlight film from high school:
Coach Pastner has a top 5 recruiting class coming in next year. This shows that he continues to build on his success. He won his first NCAA tournament game and then lost to a higher ranked Michigan State team in their home state. He was C-USA's coach of the year. Not really something to be ashamed of. Anyway, I am glad that Memphis renegotiated his contract. Having one of the best young coaches in the game is something that should be protected...especially when USC and UCLA are rumored to be putting him on their short lists of possible coaches.