Late Tuesday night, Adam Zagoria posted an article on forbes.com that highlighted some of the exciting recruiting that second year Memphis Tigers basketball coach Penny Hardaway has been diligently performing.
I highly suggest reading the article, if not only for the chill that will go up your spine when reading the words:
“In some regards, the college basketball world belongs to Penny Hardaway right now and everyone else is just living in it.”
The article goes on to highlight the NBA-laden coaching staff that Hardaway has assembled in Memphis. Zagoria recaps the recruitment of number one overall player James Wiseman and the poaching of D.J. Jeffries from coach Calipari at Kentucky. Also underscored is the rising buzz that has been going around lately regarding the rounding out of an already excellent 2019 recruiting class. Highly touted prospects Precious Achiuwa, Trendon Watford, Lester Quinones, and recently re-classified R.J. Hampton headline the list of players that have ties to the Tigers.
Hardaway and Zagoria also discuss the “big three” mentality that started with the Miami Heat of the NBA, that Penny is hoping to bring to the college hoops landscape in his hometown.
When asked about the pressures and expectations that go hand in hand with having an extremely talented team, Hardaway doesn’t shy away at all, but embraces the challenges.
I don’t know about you, but this is my coach and I’m ready to go along for the ride!
Jason Smith of 92.9 ESPN radio in Memphis, points out an important detail in this story. Originally, it was thought that Memphis only had 3 more scholarship positions to fill. Apparently, there is an additional spot that Hardaway has to work with. This means that there will likely be a change in the makeup of their returning players. Many speculate that David Wingett will transfer or Jayden Hardaway – son of Penny – will give up his scholarship.
Memphis makes leap in GP’s preseason rankings
Based on the potential recruits that Hardaway is perceived to be close to landing, Gary Parrish of CBS has bumped Memphis up 14 spots from his previous “Top 25 and 1” rankings, to 5th in his current rendition of the column.
On his afternoon radio show on 92.9 ESPN in Memphis, Parrish cites the reasoning for this drastic move as a combination of factors. His logic includes the fact that 247Sports recruiting analysts have a 3 huge recruits projected to sign and play at Memphis after recent developments. If this were to come to fruition and R.J. Hampton and Precious Achiuwa do in fact join Memphis next season, that would make Memphis the only team in college hoops with three projected lottery picks in next year’s upcoming draft.
Zak (@BarnBurnerBro) is a native Memphian who covers the Memphis Grizzlies, Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals for The Barn. He spends his free time exploring breweries, restaurants, and leading the Ivan Rabb stan club.
The BarnBurner's custom #PENNYSZN tee to celebrate Penny's hire and first season of bringing the Tigers back into the national spotlight!