Memphis most famous hoops alum may be on his way home.
Penny Hardaway is looking like a shoo-in for the next head coaching position at Memphis after Tubby Smith was fired after two underwhelming seasons. He went 19-13 his first year and improved to 21-13 this season; however, it wasn’t enough to save his job with the buzz Hardaway’s high school coaching success has created.
Via, CBS Sports:
Penny Hardaway is the leading candidate to replace Smith.
“Currently the coach at East High in Memphis — where he has assembled an incredible roster favored to win a state championship this weekend. Between East High and his Nike EYBL program (Team Penny), Hardaway has ties to three top-40 players in the Class of 2019 — No. 1 James Wiseman, No. 26 D.J. Jeffries and No. 40 Chandler Lawson — and many other high-major prospects. Sources told CBS Sports that Memphis officials believe Hardaway’s hiring alone would change the narrative around the program and remove the negativity that has engulfed it since Smith lost six of his top eight players to transfer after last season.
“Memphis fans just want something to believe in,” one source told CBS Sports last week. “Penny gives them something to believe in.”
Hiring Penny Hardaway at this point is a no-brainer. He’ll immediately improve ticket sales & recruiting, so you know the NCAA is rooting for this to come to pass.