It wasn’t THAT long ago that Memphis was in the national title discussion. Coach Calipari had the Tigers near the top of the basketball world with the likes of Derek Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts. They lost to Kansas late in the NCAA tournament in overtime, thanks to some heroics from Mario Chalmers.
Since then it’s been a gradual slide for the Tigers. Josh Pastner had a couple of great seasons, but finished 7th in Conference USA the last year he was there. Tubby Smith took over in 2016 and went 40-26 in two years. Good, but not good enough.
Insert NBA great Penny Hardaway.
Penny went 21-13 in his first season, same as Smith last year. But Hardaway has the entire city of Memphis buzzing with what he’s done this offseason.
Memphis Lands Top Recruiting Class
Making up the Tigers roster next year are two five-star recruits, five four-stars, and one of the top transfer players on the market.
James Wiseman has a great, projectable frame at 7’1″ and his athleticism jumps off the screen. He has great feet for a guy his age, but there’s obvious room to grow. He can put the ball on the deck a little bit, but again what he COULD be is what has scouts so excited. Moreover, putting him in the hands of a former NBA star could be the best thing that’s happened to him.
However, your future changes when you land the number one recruit in the class. And it’s not like the Tigers don’t have others to supplement Wiseman. A bunch of four-star players and Rayjoon Tucker should easily put Memphis at the top of Conference USA and near the top of the country.
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1:45 What’s it like to be one of the hottest coaches on the planet?
8:42 Shocking Team USA
18:06 How to build culture/team unity with a young team
20:11 Want a target on Memphis’ back