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Could both James Wiseman and UK commit DJ Jeffries join Hardaway in Memphis? One Yahoo! Sports writer seems to think so.

Yesterday afternoon, NBA legend Penny Hardaway was officially introduced as the head basketball coach at Memphis, replacing former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith. He is reportedly putting together an all-star supporting cast to rake in top recruits, with legendary coach Larry Brown, Virginia Tech associate head coach Steve Roccaforte, and Kentucky’s own Tony Barbee listed as top candidates to join Hardaway’s staff.

The Memphis basketball program needed an immediate facelift, and Hardaway is planning on hitting the ground running on the recruiting trail to make that happen.

Late last night, Yahoo! Sports posted an article about one Wichita State signee already being let out of his letter of intent to become Hardaway’s first official commitment as head coach.

Alex Lomax, a four-star point guard in the class of 2018, played for Hardaway at Memphis East High School and for Team Penny on the AAU circuit. When his longtime head coach and mentor earned the gig at his home school Memphis Tiger program, the decision was easy. He asked Gregg Marshall to release him from his scholarship papers and the Shocker head coach did the right thing by allowing it to happen with no penalty.

Great story, right?

That is until you keep reading and find two familiar names also included in the piece.

Five-star prospect Chandler Lawson and James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall prospect in his class also played for Hardaway at East High while four-star prospect D.J. Jeffries played for Hardaway’s youth league Team Penny. They’re all expected to join Hardaway in Memphis which would give him a formidable core of young talent in his second year on the job.

And according to Hardaway himself, not only will he try to bring his former players in, he has high expectations it will eventually happen.

“I’m not going to force a kid to come to the University of Memphis if he doesn’t want to,” Hardaway told CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish. “But I just hope that what I’ve done for those kids — coaching or being a mentor or doing the things that I’ve done with those kids — that they would want to come and play [for me]. So those expectations are right. I have those expectations as well. I really do. I feel like I’ve left a lasting impression on those kids that they’re going to want to follow me because they know what I’m about.”

Last week, five-star Kentucky commit DJ Jeffries told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader he was “all about Kentucky” and won’t be considering Memphis, even with his former head coach taking the job.

“Me and Penny, we have a good relationship,” he said. “If I wasn’t committed, I probably would have considered it. But now that I’m committed, I just wish Penny and Memphis the best… But, now, I’m all about Kentucky.”

But that doesn’t mean Hardaway isn’t going to give it his best shot.

And despite Kentucky being the overwhelming favorite, he’s certainly going to roll out the red carpet for uncommitted 2019 No. 1 recruit James Wiseman, as well.

Losing Tony Barbee to Memphis would be one thing.

Losing Barbee, Jeffries, and Wiseman to Hardaway and Memphis? Now those are just fighting words.

Time to step in the ring, Coach Cal.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

56 Comments for Could both James Wiseman and UK commit DJ Jeffries join Hardaway in Memphis? One Yahoo! Sports writer seems to think so.

  1. Smyrna_Cat
    7:02 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    If it is on the internet it must be true.

    • GM1978
      7:30 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Especially from the always-on-point yahoo “reporters”

    • Smyrna_Cat
      8:23 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Yahoo Reporters all the best!!!

    • Memphis UK Cat
      8:29 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      That is what the sports talk shows are saying in Memphis.

  2. BigBlueNationDude
    7:09 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Now Cal is gonna be eating 3rd.

  3. UKinIN
    7:18 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Memphis is taking a huge risk with the unproven Hardaway but if he brings in his AAU players he could have success. These things happen. As the parent of an 18 year old I think I’d want Hardaway to prove himself before I sent my kid to him for one year, and his only chance to play in the NCAA tournament. But I’m a UK fan so I can’t understand a kid going anywhere else.

    • crazycatfan65
      7:38 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      He can have success if he brings in his AAU players but how long will that last? I see him there no more than 4 years before Memphis is worse off then they were with Tubby. Didn’t they learn their lesson with Pastner?

  4. UKinIN
    7:19 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Calipari will also be shaking up his coaching staff so we don’t know what impact that could have on Jeffries or Wiseman.

  5. damage_control
    7:31 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Would be a huge gamble. Sure, penny did right by the to get them to COLLEGE, but you go to UK to maximize your draft stock for the NBA. Hard away has no track record for success in the college game and even though he has a good relationship with those guys, they’ve gotta realize that.

  6. Cokely53
    7:32 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    If this were football I would be worried but it’s basketball and we have coach Cal. Even if some how Penny did hit a grand slam and get all 3 from us, Cal would make something else happen. Not at all worried.

  7. damage_control
    7:36 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    It just cost Memphis 9 mill to fire tubby m- what do you expect Penny to say, “Nah I’m not going to get these 5* guys to come with me”?

  8. Swizzle
    7:40 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Penny will be fired within 3 years

  9. KYcats11
    7:48 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Don’t fall for this guy’s. Notice he mentions 2 of UKs targets/commits. It’s to get clicks.

    • krautdog
      9:14 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. He’s just trying to stir up the BBN.

  10. Lahinch02
    7:57 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    I foresee a major NCAA violation ahead … they will be as relevant in the AAC as BC in the ACC and Rutgers/Maryland in the Big10 or whatever number it is.

  11. TrueBluePhil
    8:00 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Who gives a rats ass what Memphis does. We will eat at the end just like Cal always does. KSR get a life.

  12. Cmart0907
    8:30 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Has Cal ever lost a recruit that already committed?

    • Han
      8:43 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Not at Kentucky.

      Hell, we even got a recruit who chose someone else and then changed his mind.

    • timbo
      9:18 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Tyler H.

    • Booby Petrino
      8:54 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Shai ^

    • cosmic_cats
      9:08 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      *t jones

    • Drogon
      10:06 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      T Jones

      How about like mentioned above we also got Shai who was committed to Florida and Tyler Herro who was committed to Wisconsin. A guy who asked to be released just so he could attend UK.

  13. Wade
    8:32 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Those guys would be pretty compfortable at Memphis together but uk’s like a religion with its own allure so I like our chances. IF these guys want to be pushed and want play ball pro somewhere they will come here no doubt.

  14. Han
    8:41 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Since we’re still playing, we have the chance to make an even better impression on recruits like Wiseman.

    Meanwhile, big stars who went to Arizona, Oklahoma, Mizzou, etc. are all sitting at home, their college careers over. It’s a powerful recruiting tool, success.

  15. BCO
    8:47 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    How about we give him Barbee and call it even?

  16. UK_fac_boi
    8:56 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    I totally understand why he would go, AAU coach making the jump the same time as you, pretty cool actually.

  17. Booby Petrino
    8:56 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    As we all know, you can’t just roll the ball out there for these players, it takes a lot of work throughout the year. Penny isn’t capable at this point of doing what Cal does with these players. Cal helps them get better (as long as they put in the work) whether haters admit it or not.

    • Booby Petrino
      8:58 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      As individuals they may be fine, but a team of one and dones coached by penny will be terrible.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      9:24 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks booby because we all know how knowledge you really are. You ppl are Matt Jones clones. You repeat everything he says on his show. You ever think of having your own opinion. How do we all know that this will be terrible? Cal is successful on talent. He gets really good players thus makes him a good coach. We all know his x and o game is par at best. What if Penny succeeds?

    • 4everUKblue
      10:23 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Booby is right, you should just be quiet and you wouldn’t be wrong all the time. At what point do you get tired of looking like a fool?

    • BBNDudesboytoy
      12:25 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Yes booby, we know how “knowledge” you really are.

      She takes you on daily and beats you down bbdouche, what does that say about you?

    • JerryDamage
      9:34 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      BBNDude, just stop because you’re embarrassing yourself. You can’t honestly believe Cal just rolls the ball out there. Every year, EVERY year, he plays a different system to adapt to his players. Yes he has talented players, but how do you explain guys like Jorts? Jorts was a pro player because Cal coached him up. Further proof that you can’t just put these guys on a team and then win a championship, how many NCAA tournament games did Fultz and Simmons play in? Both number 1 picks and both played in 0 games. Talent does not equal success. You have to have someone to help focus that talent and get the most out of it. That’s coaching.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      9:41 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      I listen to stupid Matt Jones show every day

      Sent By Android Powered By MetroPCS

  18. Catlogic15
    8:58 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Pretty confident in Jeffries. He and his dad gave a glowing endorsement of Kentucky/Cal after his commitment, just a few days before Tubby was fired. They knew the decision to hire Penny was imminent.

    • FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
      11:00 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Part of me thinks Jeffries committed before the Hardaway news out of respect to Hardaway so that he doesn’t waste his time recruiting him when he already knew where he was going to commit.

  19. krautdog
    9:18 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Hasn’t Hardaway probably done all he can do for them after 3 years?

  20. StuckinLville
    10:30 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    I love Penny, but any big time recruit isn’t going to take the chance with an unproven coach. Not until he proves himself with developing talent and getting guys to the league. Wiseman only needs to look at Cousins, Davis, and Towns.

  21. OurBlueIsBetter
    2:51 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

    Memphis is going to be good.
    Coach Cal going to have problems with Penny.
    James Wiseman is going to sign with Memphis.
    Hate to rain on your parade but Cal is falling at a fast pace!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RealCatsFan
      7:55 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Cal is falling at a fast rate? HaHa, if you say so. Pretty decent chance that he gets yet another Final Four, with a couple players going in the lottery.

      With all of the scrutiny from the FBI on the AAU scene, I don’t see how Hardaway will be able to use his influence to get top recruits a few years down the road. He might make a bit of a splash initially, but when it becomes painfully obvious that a high school and AAU coach is not ready for college coaching, his “pipeline” will run dry.

  22. Dusten
    8:03 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

    There is an air of entitlement in Hardaway’s quote that seems to stem from insecurity. Couldn’t be less worried about Jefferies. Now Wiseman likely won’t need Kentucky to the extent Jefferies will, but if there is any similarity to the way the two young men think of Cal/Kentucky compared to Hardaway/Memphis then I’m not worried about the situation at all. But even if we don’t get Wiseman, we’ll be alright.

    • OurBlueIsBetter
      8:47 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Cal has PAID every Player that ever came to Ku Cal is WHY the FBI Investigating THE NCAA.Now Cal mad cause his recruiting ? has falling off. Where’s ZION and RJ.Not there. KMSL

    • timbo
      9:27 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Oh look! A new troll/antagonist, out of work and looking to agitate all day long. Or…at least a new screenname. We love it.

    • RealCatsFan
      9:59 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, lovely that we now have a MemPiss Troll in the house. 🙂

  23. OurBlueIsBetter
    8:48 am March 22, 2018 Permalink


    • timbo
      9:30 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Your team isn’t good enough. 10 out of 10 people can’t name another team in their conference, or even their conference.

    • JerryDamage
      9:55 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      No. Memphis fans are nasty and vulgar. What do we get out of going down there and playing them? I mean other than an easy win. I’d rather play Vermont again. At least we know they’ll be good over the course of the season and won’t hurt us by imploding over the course of the season.

    • RealCatsFan
      10:00 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Memphis is a second tier, brand X basketball program. Why do you think Cal jumped at the chance to get out of there? Spurned Memphis fans are saltier than a pretzel!

  24. OurBlueIsBetter
    9:33 pm March 22, 2018 Permalink

    sounds like a little fear Memphis gonna kick that azzzzzz. how much is Knots getting PAID. FBI KNOWSLOL

  25. OurBlueIsBetter
    9:59 pm March 22, 2018 Permalink