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Memphis Daily News thinks Penny Hardaway is about to leave John Calipari in the dust

Prepare to have a nice laugh on this beautiful Friday evening.

Earlier this week, John Calipari lost his first commitment as the head coach of Kentucky in 2019 small forward DJ Jeffries.

It was an ugly breakup, as Jeffries’ father came out and said Kentucky was “unprofessional” when they brought up the possibility of a decommitment. He followed it up by saying the top-50 recruit was “bothered” by the Kentucky coaching staff not watching him play in his final AAU game out in Las Vegas.

John Calipari indirectly addressed the decommitment in his press conference yesterday, saying he wants guys that “dream of playing at Kentucky.”

“We’ve been so fortunate and blessed that families have trusted us with their children, but this isn’t for everybody,” he said. “This is really hard, and you have to want this as bad as we want you. I am always looking for guys who have always dreamed of playing at Kentucky.”

Now that he’s back on the market, odds are very, very good Jeffries ends up at Memphis to play for his old AAU coach, Penny Hardaway.

“(Penny being at Memphis) was a factor,” Corey Jeffries said. “It was a big factor. We have a bond with Penny already. It’s not like we have to get re-acquainted with him.”

And now that it looks like Hardaway has “stolen” a Calipari recruit (if you ask Memphis fans, at least), the delusion of the Tigers headed back to glory has unleashed.

Don Wade of The Memphis Daily News wrote an article this afternoon about the inevitable rivalry unfolding between Calipari and Hardaway, where he said Jeffries’ decommitment was step one in Memphis becoming “special on a national level” once more, surpassing Coach Cal and Kentucky in the process.

It starts with the NBA factory narrative.

“Calipari’s long-held trump card was that he was the one college coach that could just about guarantee you go to the NBA and probably as a lottery pick,” Wade said. “That promise perhaps doesn’t carry the same juice it once did. Hardaway starred in the NBA. Miller had success there, too. They were players. And they’re younger.”

Wade then said Coach Cal didn’t know how to get players ready for the NBA.

“They simply have a sales pitch – we were there, we played the NBA game, we know how to make you ready – which Calipari doesn’t. At least not in direct comparison,” he said.

I’ll bet you $1.5 billion that he does.

No matter what happens with James Wiseman, Wade believes Penny breaks even with Coach Cal because of Jeffries, alone.

“If Hardaway gets both Jeffries and Wiseman, he wins. If he gets Jeffries and a couple of other elite recruits and Calipari only gets Wiseman, it’s at worst a stalemate,” he said.

I’ll let you in on a little secret… Wiseman is considered a consensus top-three recruit in the class of 2019, while Jeffries is listed as just a four-star on several recruiting sites. They aren’t even in the same stratosphere of talent and potential. One is a contender to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, while the other will be in college for two years, minimum.

Jeffries decommitted on Monday, and Calipari replaced him with a guy of nearly identical status just three days later. A kid that actually wanted to be here.

And if five-star, top-25 small forward Kahlil Whitney commits to Kentucky in the near future, as expected, the Cats will get two for the price of one. Not too shabby.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Kentucky’s apparent recruiting catastrophe is just a sign of what’s to come. Memphis is headed back to the promised land under Penny Hardaway, while Calipari will be left searching for leftovers.

“What might be possible in 2019 is something else altogether,” Wade said. “That recruiting class has the potential to again make Memphis special on a national level. And as a sweet bonus, leave John Calipari as college basketball’s most-pissed-off also-ran.

I’m sure Coach Cal is just shaking in his boots.

The wrath of Penny is (apparently) upon us, BBN. Take shelter.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

26 Comments for Memphis Daily News thinks Penny Hardaway is about to leave John Calipari in the dust

  1. Blublood41
    7:09 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Lord what an idiot.

  2. 4everUKblue
    7:09 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    As soon as I stop rolling in the floor laughing my @ss off I’m gonna try to read more than the headline.

    • KYcats11
      7:33 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink


    • ClutchCargo
      11:22 am August 4, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t do it. You will be dumber for having read it.

  3. runningunnin.454
    7:13 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    How many collegiate games has Hardaway coached?
    That AAU streetball won’t cut it at that level.

  4. sprtphan
    7:26 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Sounds like a Herald Leeder story.

    • ClutchCargo
      11:23 am August 4, 2018 Permalink

      I thought the same thing!

  5. Luether
    7:26 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    I’m scared…

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:32 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

      You should be.

      UK 119 – UofLoL 52

  6. plumloopy
    7:53 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    There’ve been many, many high profile former NBA players who go into coaching but not that many who succeeded. In fact, I would say the vast majority of former NBA players who were successful coaching in college or the pros tended to be sub-all stars. I think there’s a lot of work, a lot of grind tha

  7. plumloopy
    7:54 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink


    ..t goes into the college coaching profession that isn’t what former pro players might have in mind.

  8. TouchYoSocks
    8:01 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    What happens once Penny has no more former AAU players to recruit?

    • ClutchCargo
      11:24 am August 4, 2018 Permalink

      Then the revolving door keeps turning and they keep hating Cal for leaving.

  9. StuckinLville
    8:02 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    These Memphis writers are crackin me up. Just the other day I saw one where it was saying it’s at Cal’s expense and blah blah. Do they not realize that these recruits he is getting he already has ties to? Do you think James Wiseman would be considering Memphis if it weren’t for Penny? When he starts nagging top talent he doesn’t have ties with away from Cal, then he can speak. But until then, Penny has to show results on the court.

  10. Booher
    8:45 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Am I wrong or has penny not even gotten one single recruit yet

  11. Booher
    8:47 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Am I wrong or has penny even got one single recruit yet?

  12. (Aixelsyd)0505
    8:49 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    ^^^ couldn’t have said it better

  13. (Aixelsyd)0505
    8:50 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Memphis is still so salty hahahah

  14. Wade
    8:51 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Look I’m 33 and I barely remember penny ok that’s great he had a long nba career and has Mike Miller and is a king in Memphis but that has nothing to do with recruiting and college b-ball . He just happened to come into his coaching career at the right time and I’m sure their ad said if we can pull in wiseman and a few of penny’s guys that will turn around Memphis. It’s been great for penny so far no doubt but to be mentioned with cal is ridiculous and stupid. You need to do something on cals level and he has not just got a few of his own to follow him. You must win your conference get someone drafted beat some blue bloods and win in the tourney and do it consistently. He has done jack shit and will be crap after year 3.

    • Memphis UK Cat
      9:11 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

      Memphis fans are flippin delusional down here with Cal. Penny will do well but it is laughable. Maybe he can get a team that might be able to beat half the SEC. lol

  15. KYfaninTN
    9:06 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    It is my understanding UK only recruited Jeffries to help get Wiseman. He was never a kid Cal would have signed without the connection. So for now there is no loss. It just opens a spot for a better recruit

  16. kenny
    9:18 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Memphis has 0 ships, yet their fans are screaming they are back to being perennial power? It’s ridiculous, win something and then we can talk.

  17. Memphis UK Cat
    9:25 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    I hope Memphis makes the tournament because you know the NCAA will put them in our bracket. I would love nothing more than to put memphis in their place.

  18. natertatter
    9:42 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    hahaha…dude is trolling……memphis is a joke unless you had cal that is…..and you dont anymore…i will take cal all day every day over penny…..

  19. maximumscott
    11:49 pm August 3, 2018 Permalink

    Its actually 2 for the price of 2… haha if jefferies was a top 10 and whitney and allen were 30 and 40 or whatever, the. Getting jefferies would make it a 2 for 1.

  20. J-Dub421
    1:31 pm August 4, 2018 Permalink