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Penny Hardaway claims he’s the best coach for one-and-done players

When you think one-and-dones, you think John Calipari, which is why I have to both laugh at and applaud this bold statement by Penny Hardaway, the new coach at Memphis. On Jon Rothstein’s College Hoops Today Podcast, Hardaway claimed that he and assistant coach Mike Miller are the best option to get top players get to the league because they played in it.

Who better to get you to the next level if you’re a one-and-done kid than me and Mike Miller?” Hardaway said. “There’s no two coaches better in the country to be able to do that [than me and Miller].”

Shots fired! Hardaway claimed his statement wasn’t a slight to any certain coach, but directly referenced Kentucky a few minutes later, which is certainly not a coincidence since he and Calipari are currently going toe-to-toe for five-star big man James Wiseman.

“That’s my thing with the top guys: if Kentucky’s a one-and-done school, then we’re a one-and-done school with the help of you getting to the point to where you want to get to with your game because we understand the game and we played the game. That’s just our pitch.”

While it’s true Penny and Miller have experience playing in the league, Calipari has experience getting players to the league, a distinct difference. Cal has more than proved himself as the best coach to help top prospects achieve their NBA dreams, whereas Hardaway’s only coaching experience has taken place at the high school and EYBL levels.

A refresher of Calipari’s NBA Draft success, in case a certain recruit is reading:

  • 42 NBA Draft picks, 31 at Kentucky, including 24 first-rounders
  • Four No. 1 draft picks (Derrick Rose, John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns)
  • At least one player taken in the top seven of the draft in eight consecutive seasons
  • The only coach to have five first round selections in the same NBA Draft (2010)
  • The only coach to have six players taken in one NBA Draft in the modern two-round era (2012 and 2015)
  • The first coach in any of the three major American sports to have the No. 1 and No. 2 pick in the same draft (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2012)
  • Two or more players selected in 10 consecutive NBA drafts dating back to 2008 with Memphis

And the most important…

  • All 21 one-and-dones drafted in the first round

Nice try, Penny, but you can’t argue with those results.

If you’d like to listen to Penny’s comments about one-and-dones and Kentucky, they start around the 19:30 mark:

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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.

61 Comments for Penny Hardaway claims he’s the best coach for one-and-done players



  1. Parker_UKFanNC
    1:05 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Still celebrating 4/20 apparently



    • runningunnin.454
      1:44 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Definitely on a Rocky Mountain High.



    • 4everUKblue
      2:02 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      LOL



    • Memphis UK Cat
      3:59 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Memphis program really sucks right now. With the FedEx forum on Beale Street gives them some fire power to recruit over many school.

      Penny is well known in memphis but he will never be Kentucky. It is just like Alabama taking our football recruits. We will take memphis top talent. Ole Miss being just an hour away is going to have a lot of trouble recruiting over Penny.



    • Bull Filmer
      6:32 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Penny may be one and done.



  2. BBNDan7
    1:08 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Hami about to ruin that “one-and dones” all going in the first round thing



    • ukjaybrat
      1:35 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      technically a sophomore though



    • KYcats11
      2:55 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Wasn’t Tyler Ulis early second round?



    • mj4uk
      3:11 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      No Ulis was last pick of first round



    • runningunnin.454
      3:14 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Hami could have left after a semester; so he’s a two-and-done?
      Ulis wasn’t one-and-done.



    • KYcats11
      11:46 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks for making me feel stupid RG. Haha.



    • runningunnin.454
      9:20 am April 25, 2018 Permalink

      Oh no intent to do that. With all the coming and going, it’s easy to forget.



  3. jos_ros_
    1:11 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    interesting statement lol



    • TB112162
      4:08 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Ulis was a 2 year player picked in the second round



  4. Catcasey1
    1:12 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Playing in the league verses coaching in the league is a big deal



    • jahanc2uky
      2:40 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      100 % agree! 30 head coaches vs 420 players. Penny was not even an all star without Shaq.



    • dballrb
      4:00 am April 25, 2018 Permalink

      Gad Penny NOT Been Slowed With Bad knees,He Would’ve Been w/o Question….Penny makes a strong argument but so does Cal..It will always come down to where/who a kiss wants to play for/at..



  5. gobble gobble
    1:12 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    “That’s my thing with the top guys: if Kentucky’s a one-and-done school, then we’re a one-and-done school with the help of you getting to the point to where you want to get to with your game because we understand the game and we played the game. That’s just our pitch.” ~Penny Hardaway
    Huh???
    You can’t even form a proper sentence and coherently explain what you’re trying to do as a program, but you expect to be a successful coach? Talent on the court rarely translates to the sidelines…



    • lgmagruder
      1:36 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Amen to that. I couldn’t figure out Penny’s mess of a sentence either.



  6. lexcatfan2367
    1:16 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Penny Hardaway is crazy af and he’s got the Memphis fans thinking they’re important/relevant. What makes him any better? I’m sure being an AAU coach just translates seamlessly into college. Know ya role.



  7. Wade
    1:16 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Penny might crack top 100 nba players ever and Mike Miller was just a shooter on good teams. Don’t think that qualifys them ,and they’ve never coached a college or nba game in there lives. It’s just something to get noticed since wiseman is deciding between the 2 programs. And Memphis should get him he’s in there back yard and coached him in high school. So penny’s trying to strut a little bit can’t blame him til cal stops being friends and puts you on notice. Like I heard penny wanted a series with uk . Noht hapinin. Pennys nothin to cal who’s that. Never heard of him in this profession.



    • Fitz
      2:57 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Actually, I would bet the majority of the better coaches were not very good players and vice versa.



    • KYFAN4LYFE
      4:29 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      LOL….not a chance. There are easily 100 players in the NBA RIGHT NOW that are better, or will be better in a couple years than Penny EVER was.



    • dballrb
      4:03 am April 25, 2018 Permalink

      What???..Naw,Penny was a beast for 4 years,he just got hurt…Just like what happened to me…



  8. az1006
    1:16 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Been a lot of great coaches that can’t play…Lot of good players, that can’t coach. The two aren’t one and the same.



    • RackEmWillie
      1:20 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      I’d love to know how good of an athlete all the head coaches in college and professionally were back in their day. Across the major sports, I’m going to go ahead and assume that a vast majority of the guys were never big time players on whatever team they were on.

      Coaching and playing require two VASTLY different skill sets.



    • Bourbon and Blue
      1:34 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Out of the top 10 coaches in the NCAA right now only one has played professionally, Tony Bennett of UVA. He played 3 years for the Charlotte Hornets. He has a reputation for building good college teams, but there is not a significant track record of him putting kids into the pros. I’m not saying Penny is definitely going to be a bad coach, but playing well and coaching well definitely do not go hand-in-hand. Just look at Jason Kidd.



    • az1006
      1:54 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Look at Chris Mullin…Played 16 years in the NBA, was a top 10 pick out of college, back at his alma mater.

      And it’s been a complete dumpster fire.

    • You can’t put many guys in the pros when all you teach is defense. Hello UMBC. I still keep wondering how UNCheat and Duke felt, thinking “How in the crap did we let them win the ACC?” after that absolute disaster against the Retrievers.



  9. Bill3
    1:24 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    And this claim is based on his following track record of getting kids into the NBA …. waiting …. waiting… waiting …? Oh, he doesn’t have a record of success at present?



  10. JTHinton
    1:26 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    At least Cal can speak proper English



  11. Commissionersteele
    1:29 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Nice pitch, Penny. Now step aside and watch the professionals. Lol
    Even Coach K is balking at the notion…



  12. BBNDan7
    1:30 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I give Penny 4 years tops



  13. lgmagruder
    1:31 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Good list. I think I’d add one more point regarding Cal’s success with one-and-dones relative to the NBA: “Only coach to have his former players earning more than $1B in the NBA.”. That should get a high-schooler’s attention.



  14. runningunnin.454
    1:31 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Despite being a talent rich city, Memphis has only been relevant three times in the last 50 years. And we know who the coach was the last time.
    So if the recruits want to play in a non power five conference, with the games on FoxSouth or some other satellite channel nobody gets…Penny’s their man.



  15. crazycatfan65
    1:48 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I use to like and respect Penny but after some of his comments lately, I’ve lost both. Someone needs to remind him that he has to prove something first before he can talk crap. ONLY reason he got that job was because the AD knew he would bring in the top recruits from his AAU team and high school. Lets see how well he does in recruiting a few years from now.



  16. runningunnin.454
    1:54 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Odd that he’s pitching the one-and-done thing in his first job when it’s apt to go the way of the dodo bird.



  17. binarysolo
    2:01 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    “I’m the best acting teacher to get you into Hollywood because I was in Blue Chips.” — Penny Hardaway



    • runningunnin.454
      2:48 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Probably Denzel Washington would be the best acting teacher. He played collegiate ball at Fordham under P.J. Carlisimo.
      He played the father of a top recruit in He Got Game.



  18. KYjellyRoll
    2:18 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    It doesn’t matter in the long run because one-and-done is fixing to go out the window.



  19. UK_fac_boi
    2:19 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Penny’s late to the game if one-and-done is the pitch. It’s got what, one, two years left at the max. The time is coming where every coaching staff will have to reevaluate the way they get top prospects.



  20. KYjellyRoll
    2:21 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I also agree that this guy needs to prove something before he goes talking about him being the man if you’re a one and done player



  21. Le Docteur
    2:34 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I’d cut Penny some slack. He wants to be successful. To be successful, he has to get players. What would you expect him to say, “I have no experience coaching but you should come be my experiment to see if I’m any good at it.”



  22. Cats4lyfe
    2:53 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Now that’s funny right there!



  23. Bullitt County UK fan
    2:57 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I would love to see a home and home with Memphis. Will never happen, but smacking them around would put this conversation to rest.



  24. Fitz
    3:00 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    You can make book that if they can the NCAA will see to it that UK and Memphis play in the early rounds of the Tournament.



  25. UKfansNKY
    3:21 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Whats this clown talking about?????????????????? Have you even COACHED a COLLEGE game yet??



  26. Bluebloodtoo
    3:51 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    He’s got no data to back up his claim, but I like his marketing approach. Sure got him lots of play time, didn’t it?

    • Yeah, despite my comment below, there’s nothing wrong with coming in with some swagger to sell these recruits…as long as the recruits aren’t laughing like we all are right now. We’ll have to wait and see if there’s any substance there of course.

  27. LOL! When he flames out at Memphis he can put “Little PENNAAAAAAAAAAY!!!” on his shoulder and take his comedy act on the road.



  28. secrick
    4:20 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I always thought i would like Penny and am ok with what he said. Give’m hell while you can and just back it up if you can.



  29. SuperTroy18
    4:31 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I’ll put it this way: If Penny were still a player in high school, he’d be coming to Kentucky.



    • ClutchCargo
      5:06 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Excellent point.



  30. catsarerunnin
    4:44 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    What’s Penny’s record?



    • Bull Filmer
      7:00 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

      You had to bring that up? I’ve never seen that he has been arrested!



  31. chris43
    6:32 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    It’ll be so freaking great if we get Wiseman especially after Penny coached him. ?



  32. TheMaxCat
    9:23 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Its the Donald Trump approach to coaching…..Just say it as if its true and some will believe it to be true