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Who is easier to make fun of right now: Memphis or Indiana?

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the year, the Memphis and Indiana basketball programs were two of the most heavily-discussed and exciting teams to follow in the nation.

With the Tigers, they brought in former NBA star Penny Hardaway as the team’s head coach, hoping the fan-favorite personality would inject some swagger back into the fanbase. For the Hoosiers, they hired up-and-coming former Dayton head coach Archie Miller and managed to haul in a top-five recruit in shooting guard Romeo Langford.

We knew neither team would be major contenders off the bat, but there was some genuine momentum (both in recruiting and present on-court success) surrounding both programs going into the year. There would be a learning curve, but after making two generally well-respected coaching changes, both fanbases were ready to talk about their respective programs taking the college basketball world by storm sooner rather than later.

Now in the heat of conference play, both programs have certainly turned heads nationally… just not in a good way.

After a strong 12-2 start and a jump into the national rankings, Indiana has since dropped seven consecutive games, including a 66-58 loss to 11-9 Rutgers last night. In fact, it has been a whopping 28 days since the Hoosiers won a basketball game.

Their entire list of losses? Arkansas, Duke, Michigan (twice), Maryland, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, and Rutgers. Five of them were by double-digits.

Deemed a hometown hero when he signed with Indiana out of high school, Romeo Langford hasn’t necessarily been the savior they all expected him to be, either. In short, his basic numbers (17.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game) don’t look too shabby, but they don’t back up the team’s overall on-court success. He’s shooting just 46 percent on the year and 23 percent from three to go with a team-high 2.2 turnovers per game. In six of his last seven games, Langford has shot worse than 45 percent from the field and has hit just seven of 27 attempts from three (including a stretch of 0-12 in that period).

Langford is hardly the team’s main problem, but even the team’s lone anticipated bright spot going into the year hasn’t been the brightest.

As for Memphis, they never even got off to the hot start Indiana did. Their season has been the epitome of average from the start through today.

The Tigers are currently sitting at 13-8 on the year with losses coming against LSU, Oklahoma State, Charleston, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Houston, Temple, and Tulsa. They have lost to every ranked team in their path (four of them) by no fewer than nine points and they have lost three of four games on the road, with their one victory being a four-point win over 4-12 Tulane (a team that is now 4-16).

To make matters worse, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway has quickly become the LaVar Ball of the college basketball coaching ranks.

Following two solid recruiting gets in James Wiseman and DJ Jeffries (he’s welcome for the latter), Hardaway is convinced he has already built a contender and they are capable of “playing with anyone in the country.”

(This quote came after their 20-point victory over Central Florida. In basketball.)

Earlier this week, Hardaway said other coaches are “jealous” of him and “throwing jabs” at the Memphis program because he and assistant coach Mike Miller didn’t pay their dues in the coaching ranks before getting Division-1 jobs.

“I’m getting used to it as a coach because there’s a little jealousy from a lot of these coaches around the country,” Hardaway said. “I do understand that because we are NBA players and didn’t have any experience as college coaches. So we didn’t quote, unquote, ‘Pay our dues.’ So these college coaches and their so-called boys in the media are going to always throw jabs at us.”

In fact, the Memphis head coach said he has a “target on (his) back” because he’s a former NBA player with zero real coaching experience.

“For sure, I definitely feel like there’s a target on my back,” Hardaway said. “There’s a lot of people that don’t want me to succeed because it’s going to look like an NBA guy came back with no experience and won so of course I relish in that.”

They’ll be “jealous” of all those wins… eventually.

“I’m not here to ruffle any feathers; I’m just here to win,” Hardaway said.

Let me know when you start doing that, Penny.

Indiana has been a rival to Kentucky longer than Memphis has been and the hostility has absolutely been there in the past, but their mediocrity as of late has been more sad and embarrassing than funny. With Tom Crean gone and Archie Miller struggling to find his footing, the beautiful Indiana jokes just don’t hit that sweet spot like they used to. Not yet, at least.

Their fanbase doesn’t even believe they’re anywhere close to contending, nor do they expect them to for several years.

Hardaway and the Memphis fanbase, on the other hand, are starting to genuinely feel they’re capable of competing for a national title soon, and the irritating trash talk is coming just as fast. They’ve embraced the “little brother” mindset, and the Big Blue Nation sure knows how to tease that.

As a Kentucky fan, how do you feel about both programs right now and going forward?

Does the Indiana hatred still flow through your blood? Or has Penny Hardaway and his arrogance become easier to root against?


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

46 Comments for Who is easier to make fun of right now: Memphis or Indiana?

  1. Cmstew502
    10:18 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    This is literally the first time I’ve heard anything about Memphis all season.

    • JusSayin
      10:35 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah, Penny may be talking out his butt… however, Memphis is not supposed to be good and they are at least respectable. Indiana was supposed to be good and they aren’t even decent.

    • Ulysses_S
      7:16 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly, with the way the Cats are playing right now, neither of these teams is relevant. I doubt either is gonna make the tournament anyway. Let’s wait and see what Memphis does going into 2020 with some talent and then we may have a conversation. Although, not so bold prediction.. I bet the recruiting suffers without Penny’s AAU farm system to shop from… As for Indiana, I almost feel sorry for them at this point.

  2. IndianaSucks
    10:18 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Must I say, Indiana…

  3. jahanc2uky
    10:23 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    I dislike Bob Knight as a person. When the school seperate from him, I applauded. Every since then, I have actively wished them well. Memphis on the other hand is a school I dislike. Putting blame on Cal for Derrick Rose, disrespecting him with a rebuked honor, hiring Tubby Smith and firing him, along with the constant trolling for attention…. How can are fanbase wish for nothing but ill on this program/school?

    • unbridled
      12:44 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. Not to mention Penny Hardaway is an insufferable clown. Even with wiseman, he will struggle

    • unbridled
      12:45 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      You can’t just learn big time D-1 coaching in a year. It doesn’t work that way, which makes the wiseman decision much more silly.

  4. rickwhitetx
    10:29 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Who is Hardaway claiming to be jealous?

    • timbo
      7:32 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Rick Barnes was the context of those comments…the coach of the number one ranked team and dominant state university…lol

    • RealCatsFan
      9:03 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised that Penny is directing some of that as a jab at Cal too, since they have battled for Wiseman’s commitment. And I’m sure Cal has major laugh lines on his face from that.

  5. VinDatuk
    10:50 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Langford shooting 46% from the field as a guard is pretty impressive considering his supporting cast. Otherwise good write up.

  6. down54187092
    11:01 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    I could care less what happens in Memphis. I do think college basketball needs Indiana to be elite again.

  7. Blublood41
    11:12 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    They think he was throwing shots at cal and Kentucky.

  8. ukbradstith
    11:39 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Clearly it’s IU. For one, Miller is in his second year. Also, IU was supposed to be a contender in the big ten, a top 30 program for sure. Memphis is supposed to suck worse than they do now. Romeo has slipped of late, but honestly he’s pretty much lived up to his billing and is probably a top 8 pick in the draft.

    • timbo
      7:35 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      I bet he doesn’t go top 15. Not a knock, he’s just not one of the top 20 players.

  9. A_Blue_Wildcat
    11:48 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Memphis is much easier to dislike. Penny is bad mouthing classy, fully established coaches like Rick Barnes all without proving anything to anyone. He’s an aau level coach who will have one good year next year then likely you will never hear anything good about him again. Lets remember that Memphis won 20 games last year with Tubby and brought back their best players, add in the fact that the American conference is much worse top to bottom (with the exception being Houston), and Tubby would have taken this years Memphis team to the tournament whereas Penny is taking them to a .500 record.

    IU on the other hand is hard to dislike for any reason other than their fanbase, which at this point just doesn’t feel all that annoying. Yeah they’re bad but their coach and players don’t run their mouth so who cares.

    • RealCatsFan
      9:06 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      As of late, the Indiana fan base seems about as threatening as the Abominable Snow Monster from “Rudolph” after Herbie the Elf pulled out all his teeth.

  10. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    11:56 pm January 31, 2019 Permalink

    I assume Penny is just trying to fire up his squad with that target on his back crap. What does that even mean? Other coaches are trying to beat you? Well welcome to coaching. Other coaches are jealous? I’m sure that’s true for some guys. So freaking what? What does that have to do with anything? Less talk, more winning coach.

    • bluecrowe
      12:04 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      This is talking trash for no purpose. It is so surreal. What does he think this is exactly? He is…or was a respected former player who should have been amazing, but was cut short by injuries. I assure you there are not coaches out there jealous of him because he jumped a couple of levels. They are thinking, “yeah that seems about right, it is Penny Hardaway!” Until he was hired I did not even know Memphis still had a basketball program. So there is that…:)

  11. UK1995
    12:08 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    I hate Indiana more than Louisville because of Tom crean and Bobby, however penny sucks and he needs to prove himself before he can say anything about being jealous until they are a 1 seed because Calipari and K have done an awful lot without being given a job with the quality of Memphis(Calipari made Memphis). Coach K started at Army they could careless about basketball there

  12. ukcamel
    12:20 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t care about either of these teams.

  13. bigcat68
    12:24 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    You mean Memphis still has a basketball program?

  14. Memphis UK Cat
    12:35 am February 1, 2019 Permalink


  15. AFVetODS
    1:23 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Ok,I was born and raised in KY and bleed blue but have lived in Memphis for 33 years. When I moved here I really didn’t catch any kind of hell wearing all of my UK gear. 1st, when Cal left Memphis for UK I was cussed at everywhere I went ( like I spoke with Cal and advised him to go…idiots) and was even spat on while wearing my UK hoodie downtown, crazy! Now, this has all started again, I wear something UK every single day now just to piss people off…it is ridiculous that I get ridiculed for being a UK fan here. I played with/against Penny in the summer at one of the larger churches here in Memphis way back and he was such a nice young man, very driven but such a humbleness about him. These people down here think he is the next coming and I just can’t stand it…he is making himself look like a fool. Even one of his assistants, that I will not mention, gave me an eat *#it look when I was joking with him at the local market by pointing at my UK rain jacket and was just waving and laughing. He must have thought I was being a smart*#@, I went over to say to him that I was joking with him and he literally stared at me and walked off without saying a word. I know that UK has our fair share of 1%’ers that act like complete morons….but these folks down here are REALLY something and I think Penny is fueling the fire with his “holier than thou” talk. Me and my neighbor (season ticket holders to Memphis football and basketball and five the university a good amount of money) are extremely close and since Penny has been hired he will barely speak to me….which I know means he was never really my friend, but this is a guy who our families used to cookout almost every single weekend in the summer…it has become a nightmare down here in Memphis since Penny took the helm…and to me, he is making the people of Memphis worse for it. Sorry this was so long!!

    • Matt10
      6:55 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Great insider perspective. Thanks!

    • Memphis UK Cat
      9:16 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Wow this is something I could have just wrote. I have had one graduate at Memphis and one in school. I am a season ticket holder for UK Football and attend many UK basketball games around the country. It is painful to write a check to the University of Memphis. Thanks kids! I know penny who is a member of my country club and I am going to let him know Memphis is chicken sh t to schedule a game with Kentucky. Memphis fans have lost their ever loving mind down here and there is a huge amount of BBN in Memphis. Penny has been a great guy but wow the Rick Barnes comments and some of recent other comments is making you like a fool. Cal, please schedule these idiots. We encounter these clueless fans all the time wearing blue when they bring up Cal. For the Memphis UK fans, please remind them they stole our coach Tubby Smith. Silence, crickets, because most have no idea he coached at UK and won a title. You ran him off and did him wrong for your next coming. Yes I hate Indiana but at least I can respect them for winning titles. Memphis all you have won is the worst fans on the planet and murder capital of the USA. Congrats!

    • AFVetODS
      11:47 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Thanks for the back up Memphis UK Cat!! I do see many UK stickers on cars down here, especially in Collierville and have always wondered if they get treated the same way I do …of course I probably egg it on a little bit more now that Penny lost his mind, lol. Good to know a fellow Memphian on here to know exactly what I am talking about.. thanks!

    • Memphis UK Cat
      3:32 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Yes collierville and you would know the private club. Penny is a member. The funny thing is there is at least 14 of us Kentuckians that are members and we wear our UK stuff all the time. We love driving them crazy. Penny knows us and we will give him sh t. I have to say he is a funny guy and a heck of a golfer.

    • TWhite
      1:07 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      I too live in Memphis. Graduated from the University of Memphis. I’ve been through all of that right there with you guys. I will say, wearing my UK jersey in 2012 (my senior year) on campus was probably some of the most enjoyable experiences of college. People are still so sore about Cal leaving. I, for one, completely and utterly blame Gary Parrish, Geoff Calkins, and the entire crew at 92.9 for the creation of this monster. It’s weekly hype of Penny, then excuses for Penny. I literally heard them say on air that next years Memphis team will bring about the same sort of excitement as this years Duke team with all of the talent they are bringing in. You can’ make this stuff up. They are delusional.

  16. WildFan
    1:27 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Well, I’ve lived and worked in Indiana for the last twenty-one years so I pretty much have to hate their obnoxious fanbase. Other than a few anomalies, they haven’t really been relevant but any time they think they are (sweet sixteen, Watford buzzer beater) they are the most obnoxious backward ass rednecks. It’s laughable and I don’t care in the least if they win or lose, as a UK fan I’ve been happier a lot more than they have.

    Memphis, I have no opinion on Memphis.

  17. Aar
    6:56 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t have a clue why I just read this article about two irrelevant programs. Memphis was starting to approach relevance when Cal was their coach. They won’t be relevant until they build their own identity. One recruit who peaked in his high school junior season does not make a program. It’s a real shame that Indiana basketball it a shadow of its former self.

    • UKCatAttack
      9:36 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Thanks for writing them for me.

  18. JTHinton
    7:10 am February 1, 2019 Permalink


  19. N-UR-i
    7:25 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Penny’s creepy little beard and mustache make him look like a child molester.

  20. TorpedoVegas
    7:45 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Penny has never coached at a high level. He got two good recruits based on his AAU relationship with them. The recruiting will dry up when his connections fade. He needs to take several steps back.

  21. ukcats1776.90
    8:00 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    I hate indiana far worse than any other program including Louisville. memphis, eh? Penny is a perfect coach for that team – no class and bad

  22. Jiminy Crickets
    8:45 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Programs? Indiana. Coaches? Penny.

  23. Mathlete
    9:00 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t really have much head space cleared out for either team. I wasn’t around when Indiana was relevant, and I never really cared about the games when we were still playing them. Memphis, meanwhile, is just a yipping chihuahua trying to be a rottweiler. If* they somehow make the tournament, they’ll get chewed up by whoever they play.

  24. RealCatsFan
    9:13 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    If I’m Cal, I’m making it known to James Wiseman that there is still plenty of time to change his mind and alter the course of his future. Does he want to play for a true title contender at Kentucky and have a fast track to being the next KAT or AD, or does he want to waste a year in college playing for this fool who thinks established top level NCAA coaches are “jealous” of him?

  25. Racerr11
    9:16 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Hardaway is a joke and the laughing stock of the country. Indiana is just pitiful. What did Archie Miller do at Daytona that would make you think anything out of the ordinary, nothing. At least Archie isn’t embarrassing himself by opening his mouth like Penny. Lol what coach would be jealous of nothing. The only reason Penny was hired as a coach was because they thought he would get recruits from aau not because he can coach, he won’t last long.

  26. catsarerunnin
    9:39 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Had Indiana and Memphis both somehow made the tourney this year they both would have been put in the same region as Kentucky by the selection committee somehow,someway. Personally I think Penny will be a complete bust as a coach. Miller has a better chance at Indiana.

  27. bigblue2284
    10:42 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Penny has become so unlikable. My suggestion is focus more on your team and preparing and less time talking about yourself. Guys like this that come in hot tend to burn out quickly.

  28. UKfanman01
    10:53 am February 1, 2019 Permalink

    I thought Memphis shut down their program after Cal left because they couldnt sell tickets? Indiana leaps and bounds. I wish we still played them so we could troll their obnoxious fanbase

  29. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    4:48 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Hello I’m an illiterate moderator.

  30. KyZoneBlitz
    5:51 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    I WANT TO PLAY MEMPHIS AND ABSOLUTELY SMASH HARDAWAY NEXT SEASON… He thinks he kn ows what it takes, because Cal just rolls the ball out, we will see….