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Penny Hardaway seriously thinks Memphis is going to win the title this year

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After raking in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2019, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway is feeling quite confident going into the college basketball season.

In a recent interview with Dana O’Neil of The Athletic, Hardaway not only said that his team is “special,” but that Memphis will win the national title this season.

“When I look at this group, I just say to myself, ‘We’re going to win a national championship.’ That’s what I know,” Hardaway said.

And how does he know that? Because he has watched film on some of the nation’s elite such as Michigan State, Duke, and Kentucky and knows that his team is capable of beating them all.

“What do I know?” he said. “I know when I have something special. When I see this group in action, see their abilities, I know what’s at stake and I know what’s out there. The teams like Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, all the usual suspects. I’ve studied the film. I know who they are.”

This past year, Memphis signed five-star prospects James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa, along with four-star prospects Boogie Ellis, DJ Jeffries, Lester Quinones, Malcolm Dandridge, and Damion Baugh.

In the recent NCAA.com 2019-20 Preseason Rankings, Andy Katz listed Memphis at No. 13 overall, with the Tigers coming in at No. 21 overall in the NBC Sports Preseason Rankings.

(The Athletic)

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

57 Comments for Penny Hardaway seriously thinks Memphis is going to win the title this year



  1. syrin23
    7:06 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    They’ll be lucky to make it to the second weekend.



    • Plicknog33
      6:34 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Penny: puuuuhhhhleeeazzzze bruh…. then again maybe he can make an Elite 8! Coach K only had the ‘best class ever’ last year only to get a gift in S16 and lose in the E8. So, I guess Penny in all his genius and years of Coaching can do better than K and Cal with a class of 1 great player and a bunch of shoot first 4-stars and Precious who had so many red flags Kansas wouldn’t even touch him. Lol. I watched a lot of games last year that Penny ‘Coached’ and he really was out coached in every single one. He just isn’t good. All hype, and unless he goes undefeated now in that turd stain conference it’s a let down. They should be undefeated or only have 1-2 losses going into the NCAA. Anyone at all really think that after losing game after game with Wiseman on his former HS teams vs. sub par talent that he will now win a Title vs. elite players and Coaches with Wiseman? This is laughable I’m sorry. He is a buffoon and a charlatan. He basically in not so many words said Michigan St., UK, UNC, Dook, etc aren’t shit and his Team is the 2nd coming of UNLV… just a dumpster fire in waiting and I can’t wait: popcorn ready to go!



  2. JASUN74
    7:09 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Good luck Mister Penny! Lol. I don’t doubt they’ll win some games but he’s definitely getting a swollen head. Lol. A Sweet Sixteen would be a unbelievable season for his group.



    • Irish son
      8:22 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I can’t see no way they make a sweet 16 either



  3. Jesus H. Chrysler
    7:13 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Penny can’t spell National Championship



  4. mashman 93
    7:21 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    It won’t happen.



  5. A_Blue_Wildcat
    7:22 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    When you look at the talent they have on their roster a title run certainly could happen, and it’s not like bad coaches haven’t won titles before (Kevin Ollie), but I could also see them losing early in the tournament so who knows.



    • 4everUKblue
      7:41 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Kevin Ollie inherited a pretty good group of athletes, won and then he faded into the sunset. Didn’t do jack after that, kinda like Tubby.



    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      7:47 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Tubby won decently well everywhere he went, he was a solid coach just not a great one. Take the one lucky run out of Kevin Ollie’s resume and he struggled to make the tournament in a bad conference with at least one hs all-american on his team every year.



    • 4everUKblue
      8:35 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      My point exactly, Ollie had one good year.. Tubby was only really good team was the one Pitino left him.



    • ukkatzfan
      9:19 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      4everUKblue, you are showing your true colors. Tubby was a great coach. Forgot exactly how the roster went. But after Rajon’s freshman year, they changed the traveling rules due to him being so good. Put Morris, Rajon, Crawford and rest of class together for 3-4 years, Tubby definitely wins a second title.



    • mashman 93
      9:55 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      That is not true. Tubby’s teams from 2003-2005 were all good teams. Kentucky was a 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament all three years.



    • KYCat4EVER
      4:34 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Tubby Smith had no business at Kentucky… and his exit and mediocrity at a Minnesota, Texas Tech, and Memphis showed everyone just that!

      Heck, with the tremendous group of young men AND the Dominating State of the UK program Pitino left, even 4EVERUKBLUE, who will squat on everything (see picture) but doesn’t know squat, could have WON a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at UK…

      GO BIG BLUE!



    • 4everUKblue
      7:53 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Sorry Katzfan, Tubby had good teams with good players but he only got a sniff of the championship game with the players left to him by Pitino and that is a fact, like it or not. It was the only time he got close. Even that dumbass KYCAPSLOCK knows this. Tubby was a good coach and a great person but he was not a great coach. I know it’s unpopular to say he only won it with Pitino’s players but that’s the way it is.



    • 4everUKblue
      7:59 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      KYCAPSLOCK , who is a complete idiot, shook the hand of Adoph Rupp many times, probably the reason he retired. He probably got tired of having to shake the redneck’s hand.



  6. peaches76
    7:40 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    While a bit of bravado, what else should he say? And , his team IS talented enough to make a run in March.



    • TonyMontana
      7:45 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly.



    • nocode96
      8:22 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. Personally, I doubt it very, very much. But…he pulled talent, great talent. He’s unproven for sure, but some people honestly expect him to come out and say things like “well, we aren’t Kentucky, ha ha” stuff along those lines. He’s saying what any coach would say, and he has confidence because he deserves to be confident for pulling that class.



    • Cletis75
      8:49 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I would think he would ride the fence like Cal and most other coaches. Like, this is a process, we gotta get some experience, find out who we are, yadda, yadda, yadda! Try to take some pressure off the kids and let them find themselves a little bit, not throw them in the fire before they ever play a true game against a really good team. Cal always downplays expectations, and some people think it’s to lower expectations, when it is actually to keep the kids loose mentally, so they don’t over think everything and get all mind gaggled and not play to their abilities.



    • BBNnCLE
      12:06 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      I must be living under a rock bc I don’t recall very many coaches going as far as calling their shot and saying they’re winning the national championship. Seems like a bad decision to put a target on your back especially with a team full of freshmen.



  7. 4everUKblue
    7:40 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    LOLOLOLOLOL!



  8. Go Deep
    7:44 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    First time coaching a major college team….. lucky to not lose 10-15 games.



    • mashman 93
      8:27 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      He coached last year and I think Memphis lost 14 games, but with the #1 recruiting class the stakes will be higher this season.



  9. AddienMasonsPop
    7:46 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Very curious to see how this plays out



  10. Skooms
    7:52 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Watch, we’ll be matched in the same region.



  11. CahillsCrossingNT
    8:17 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    I could definitely envision it. They will have the nation’s best player, and Penny will prove a home run hire.



    • BBNnCLE
      12:10 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      James Wiseman will not be the nation’s best player nor will he even be the nations best NBA prospect. That title will belong to Anthony Edwards.



  12. ColoradoCatFan88
    8:20 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    How do any of you know what type of coach he is? A lot of you continue to bash him & state that he’s this terribly awful coach. He obviously has to prove himself, but some of you guys are just straight haters if any other university/team/player/coach gets any type of positive recognition. No wonder why the rest of the country thinks we have the most ignorant fanbase.



    • Irish son
      8:24 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I watched his high school teams play several times and they always had more talent than the other team, but usually lost



    • Bluebloodtoo
      8:33 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      There is nothing wrong with ignorance. Stupidity is a problem, though. Did you happen to know the definition of ignorance before you used it there?



    • VirginiaCat
      8:37 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I think it is a bit harsh to suggest that we have an ignorant fan base. That said, most of the commentary on this board is based on emotion rather than serious analysis. Hardaway has proven that he is an outstanding recruiter and there is no basis for suggesting that he is a bad coach. He has amassed a lot of talent and only time will tell what he does with it.



    • mashburnfan1
      8:50 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Irish son you do know a certain college team and coach has had the #1 or #2 class every year. A certain college team has the better players almost every time they take the court. And that certain college team and coach has lost in the tourney {NCAA and NIT} to pretty average teams most years. One would think having the best talent year in and year out you would win multiple titles, like Clemson and Bama have done in football the last 5 years. They have won multiple titles with the best players in just the last 5 years. We have the so called best of the best every year and lose to a very average WVU, KState, Auburn {without its best player} and oh my some guy named Bobby Morris. I really doubt Penny will win the title this year, would bet very heavy against it, but what else is a coach to say.



    • mashman 93
      10:02 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Quit comparing football and basketball they are not the same. You hate Cal and we all get it but Saban gets to keep his players for at least three years and Cal doesn’t.



    • Plicknog33
      6:21 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Go back to Durham dude



    • catsarerunnin
      7:35 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      And Bashburn begins his stupidity even before Midnight Madness.



    • Cletis75
      8:57 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Mashburnfan1, big difference in football and basketball, football players have to stay 3-4 years! Do you ever compare anything rationally or do you just like to blurt out Apple’s to oranges comparisons?



    • J-Dub421
      12:11 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Mashbum, it’s not like you to criticize Duke and Coach K like that.



    • 4everUKblue
      8:28 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      mashbum is a phoney, a fraud and nothing more than a spin doctor. Oh and a liar. He keeps asking me what he lied about but never returns to see my response because he’s scared.



    • catsarerunnin
      10:52 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      He’s Schiff-ty….



  13. Cletis75
    8:26 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    What teams has he coached and coached against to come to these conclusions? “Derrr, I have watched other teams play, and I have seen my team practice, and I think we are going to win it all, derrr!” …. For chrissakes Penny, which is a girl’s name by the way, and the least valuable money piece of value, play a few games first to find out who your teams identity is before putting that type of pressure on them. He wants to sound like an expert and never coached a game on this level. He may be great, but he may end up looking like a tool if he doesn’t deliver immediately. There’s a lot of pressure to win at this level, you should never put undue pressure on your players or yourself.



    • ready4nineNOW
      10:38 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      U do realize he coached memphis last year, right. Smh



    • Cletis75
      10:34 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Yes, what I meant is he has never coached an NCAA tournament game, yet he’s gonna come in with one good recruiting class and cut down the nets.



  14. Bluebloodtoo
    8:31 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    When Penny gets 5-10 years experience, he’ll probably be a really good speaker and leader.



  15. Aar
    8:42 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    This is the time of year that coaches sell tickets.



  16. UKCatAttack
    8:48 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Never understood why he didn’t take the nickname Dime. Regardless I think he talks a big talk and wants to believe his team will be great. Ultimately this is his make or break year. If he doesn’t pull off a great run in March and get several kids drafted in the first round he will fizzle out and be unemployed in a few years. This is his chance to prove himself and he has set the bar. Now it’s up to him to pull these kids together to be a title contender. If I were him I think I would’ve shot for a Final Four but I get where he’s coming from. James Wiseman is a star.



  17. bbn606
    8:51 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    If you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right. Somebody famous once said that, I can’t remember who.



  18. 72uksprinter
    8:56 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    OK, One Cent,
    We hear the talk.
    Let’s see how your youngsters and YOU walk the walk.
    Bring it!



  19. SwaggyP
    9:12 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    ?



  20. KYJelly
    9:24 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Believing in his team is a bad thing? I don’t think they’re gonna win it all, but I’m not going to knock the guy for being positive about his team



  21. UKCAT5FAN
    1:34 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    I respect Penny as a player and a coach BUT I have 1 question for him………

    How do you know what it takes to win a National Title? How do you know? I’ll wait…….



  22. satcheluk
    4:25 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    A Penny isn’t worth what it used to be. Most wouldn’t even stop to pick one up.



  23. KYCat4EVER
    4:43 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    Penny just opened his mouth and told everyone “being a great basketball player doesn’t make a knowledgeable or great coach”…

    He has a LOT to prove this year and that #1 ranked class will only show college basketball fans how his skill set can’t cash the checks his own mouth writes!

    GO BIG BLUE!



  24. catsarerunnin
    7:33 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    If Penny had a penny for every time he said something stupid he’d be one rich dude.



  25. UKFanSC
    8:20 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    He might…… but I wouldn’t bet on it. In fact, many think he’ll struggle this year trying to get a young team on the same page



  26. Ned T.
    9:23 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    He has the talent. Let’s see if he can manage it and coach. My guess is they will stumble against tough teams and his hotshots will begin looking towards the draft.



  27. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    10:43 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    It’s fine if you’re confident, but his main reason for saying it, other than his players’ talent? “The teams like Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, all the usual suspects. I’ve studied the film. I know who they are.” Oh, okay, so it isn’t like any of those teams have new players or anything. As Bugs would say, “What a maroon!” Haha.