Monday, 28 May, 2018

Penny Hardaway set to become Memphis basketball coach, reports say

ESPN Penny Hardaway agrees to Memphis deal	 	 	 			Penny Hardaway ESPN Penny Hardaway agrees to Memphis deal Penny Hardaway
Lucia Summers | 20 March, 2018, 10:32

It seems it is time to add another former NBA All-Star to the college coaching ranks.

Memphis is turning to Penny Hardaway - the former NBA All-Star and Tigers legend who does not have any Division I experience as a head coach or as an assistant - to replace fired coach Tubby Smith.

Memphis University has been suffering from a lack of attendance at basketball games, according to ESPN.com, so administration seems to be making moves to help solve that issue.

Hardaway most recently has been the coach at Memphis East High School, which just won its third consecutive Tennessee state title, and also is the founder and coach of a Memphis-based AAU team, Team Penny.

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Smith, who failed to sign a single top-100 recruit, was criticized throughout his tenure at Memphis for underachieving relative to recruiting expectations. Memphis finished with a 21-13 record this season but missed the postseason for the fourth straight year.

Hardaway (right) paired with Shaquille O'Neal (left) in Orlando to create one of the better teams of the 1990s. Hardaway, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, helped drive the Magic to their first NBA Finals berth in 1995 - a series in which they were swept by the Houston Rockets.

Early in the 1997-98 season, Hardaway suffered a major knee injury that had an impact on the rest of his career. His last season in the National Basketball Association came in 2007-08, where he teamed with O'Neal as a member of the Miami Heat.

With Penny's official announcement as Head Coach of the Memphis Tigers coming Tuesday, Hardaway will be well on his way to step three.

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