Year four of the Penny Hardaway era at Memphis is just three short months away, and the excitement is already a buzz. Rightfully so too, Head Coach Penny Hardaway has had one of the best offseason in Memphis basketball history. From heating the recruiting trail by signing one of the top classes in the country to going out and getting Hall Of Fame Coach Larry Brown. Sure, the first three years were a bit shaky for Hardaway and his program, but the time is now. You either put up, or you shut up. The time for excuses is over, and it’s time to bring winning basketball back to the 901.
A lot of folks across College Basketball have all but given up on Penny Hardaway and this Memphis basketball program. They said Penny was in over his head, they said he couldn’t compete, they even said he would lose his swagger on the recruiting trail. That was until this off-season when Coach Hardaway signed the top-ranked recruiting class and kept several crucial guys from last season’s team.
Including in that was the returning of Lester Quinones, Alex Lomax, Landers Nolley, and Deandre Williams, all of which played huge roles last season and are expected to make great strides during the 2021-2022 season. On top of those returning guys, Penny Hardaway and his staff went and plucked the number one recruit in the country, in a guy by the name of Jalen Duren. Duren is expected to come right into this program and be a valuable asset for the Tigers this season.
So what exactly are Head Coach Penny Hardaway and his Memphis Tigers building? To be completely honest, Coach Hardaway is quietly building Memphis into a College Basketball juggernaut. Penny has learned so much in his first three seasons that will prove to be a cornerstone for this program going forward. Coach Hardaway is also building this program into a program that the city of Memphis can get behind.
Fans should expect this team to be competitive in every game, not only that, but Tiger fans should expect this team to not only make the NCAA Tournament but also advance in the Tournament. There’s no excuse as to why this 2021-2022 Memphis basketball program can’t be at the very top of the American Athletic Conference and even be mentioned as one of the few teams that have true Final Four aspirations.
Fans can also expect the Tigers to play a style of basketball this season that mirrors that of the Grit and Grind Memphis Grizzlies teams. Memphis will have the bodies to compete with anybody in the country. For that Memphis fans, you should be excited and simply enjoy the ride. Moments like these don’t happen often.