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More buzz Memphis will replace Tubby Smith with Penny Hardaway

The rumors have rumbled about this for a while, but tonight, there are reports that Memphis officials are seriously considering firing Tubby Smith in favor of Penny Hardaway. From CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish:

Memphis legend Penny Hardaway is “actively preparing to be a college coach” and has already started identifying possible future staff members, multiple sources have told CBS Sports. Meantime, Memphis president Dr. David Rudd told the Commercial Appeal on Tuesday that his administration is “going to evaluate the program at the end of the year,” which effectively confirms what CBS Sports has learned: Memphis is seriously considering firing Tubby Smith and replacing him with Hardaway.

Of course, Hardaway coaches top UK target James Wiseman at Memphis East right now. Wiseman has said in the past that if Hardaway got a college job, he wouldn’t necessarily follow him there, but with UK considered to be the favorite for the dynamic big man — who could still decide to reclassify to 2018 — this is definitely something to keep an eye on…

[CBS Sports]


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

16 Comments for More buzz Memphis will replace Tubby Smith with Penny Hardaway

  1. BBNDan7
    9:10 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

    And there goes Wiseman

  2. SuperTroy18
    9:19 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink


  3. BBN_strive_4_9
    9:20 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

    Cal better get Wiseman to come to UK. If he loses Wiseman to Memphis he can’t be considered a great recruiter anymore. Good, not great. That being said I still think he comes to UK even if Hardaway lands the Memphis job.

    • Wilfred Smith
      5:58 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

      So, it only requires signing the best class every year. Getting those kids to stay 4 years. Winning every game. Then winning those games by at least 30 points. Then – why do we complain? Not enough Kentucky kids on the roster?

    • catsarerunnin
      8:22 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t forget free beer and chicken wings. Then they will be satisfied.

  4. steve simpson
    9:57 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

    1 or 2 every year he’s been here isn’t great?? Not sure what great is then??

  5. Blublood41
    10:10 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

    I still think he comes to UK. He might play for Penny but Cal is the one with the track record on bigs.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      10:19 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

      another blind follower. Yep ole Cal sure has develpoed Richards. When will you people learn Cal does not develope these guys in the 8 months he has them. He, in the past, did a great job of recruiting NBA ready guys. Most of those guys would have been the same, or higher, pick right from High School. If it wal all Cal, like many of you believe, why didn’t Lee, POY, Twins, Bricksoe, Richards, SKJ, Wenyan, Washington, Teague, Lamb and more highly rated guys make it big in the NBA. I guess that High School coach at SVSM in Akron is best ever, look what he did to make Lebron so good for so ong.

    • SuperTroy18
      4:12 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

      That is the definition of cherry-picking. You think Harrelson and Liggins get drafted with BCG as coach?! If anything, Harrelson completely blossomed and flourished under Cal in the two seasons he was with him. He underachieved with BCG here! Patterson even developed an outside shot because Cal said he’d need it at the next level and that very skill has kept him in the League for almost ten years! Cal demands more from guys. Coach Payne helps develop the bigs’ skills. The combination of them both get guys where they need to be. Whether it’s getting Cousins’ personality in check, Jorts’ aggression and post moves, Willie’s shot and touch around the basket, they ALL picked up what they didn’t have when they got here. If guys think they’re ready for the League right out of HS and won’t listen, as Cal says “This place isn’t for everyone.” Cal developed WCS into a consistent starter at the next level. It took three years. He didn’t even get OFFERS at other blue bloods! So…I’m sure he was just NBA-ready, right??

    • Han
      11:03 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t disagree with you that a lot of bigs haven’t had a lot of success here, but many would point out that a lot of guys who left and didn’t have success wouldn’t have left as early if they hadn’t gotten caught up in the snowball of the Kentucky effect. Guys expect to be instant successes because some of the super elite guys have been.

      That said, you gotta stop with the “NBA ready guys” argument. People saying guys like Wall, Cousins, Towns, Davis, Booker, etc. would’ve been just as good anywhere. It’s not true, and you need only look as far as guys like Simmons, Xavier Henry, and half of Duke’s recruits lately. Even the best of the best sometimes aren’t ready and need the right system. They need the right coaching in college to be able to make the jump in the pros. How many Top 5-10 picks the last few years ended up in the G-league or overseas? It’s a lot more than just Kentucky guys. Look no further than Duke, Michigan State, Kansas, and Arizona to see that top recruits don’t always pan out and don’t always develop in their one year in school. Guys have seen their draft potential fall at plenty of schools, but there’s not the same wave of expectation there. Only at UK is there an avalanche of bad press when guys don’t live up to their ranking. Duke’s been getting away with disappointments for several years now (at least nationally speaking. Their local media could be raking K over the coals for Bolden, but I doubt it).

  6. TWhite
    11:25 pm March 6, 2018 Permalink

    I live in Memphis and watched the kid play last night. If he reclassifies and comes out this year, we don’t want him. He needs another year badly. If Penny goes to Memphis, look for him to go to a prep school for a year, and then decide. Going to be great, but not next year.

  7. rosquirto
    8:46 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

    The question is—is this it for Tubby as a head coach? If Memphis let’s him go for a guy with NO head coaching experience, wouldn’t you consider it time to hang it up. Love him or hate him, the man can coach. Recruit, not so much. Still, one of my all time favorite teams was the Bogans, Daniels, Fitch, Hayes, etc team. They knew how to share the ball. What this years team could learn from that one!

    • callitlikeiseeit
      11:12 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

      Agree on the coaching but can’t recruit. Don’t think it is the end unless he just wants to stop. Memphis is going after an alum, and a former NBA star, to ignite some energy in the program. In a perfect world we want Tubby to coach the kids Cal recruits.

  8. Alleykat16
    9:55 am March 7, 2018 Permalink

    If he loses him to Memphis that’s going to be a hard one to take.

  9. catdaddyd
    5:31 pm March 7, 2018 Permalink

    Tubby has lost 10 or more games in 13 straight seasons. What did Memphis think they were getting?