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Sport New coach Penny Hardaway already having impact on Memphis

09:20  12 june  2018
09:20  12 june  2018 Source:   ap.org

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It sounds like the Memphis Tigers will be in the market for a new coach soon, and it may have a serious impact on the Kentucky Wildcats. By now, you probably know all about Penny Hardaway , who’s very likely to join the college ranks They’d already be on the hook for a .75 million buyout

Penny Hardaway , who starred two seasons at Memphis in the early 1990s before a successful NBA career, was named Tuesday as the Tigers’ new men’s basketball coach . “We have to get those days back.” Hardaway becomes the third former Tiger player to take over the coaching reins of the program.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- League championships, the NCAA Tournament and another Final Four berth all accomplished by teams with a healthy dose of local talent — before sellout crowds.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: Penny Hardaway attends the Sears Shooting Stars Competition 2014 as part of the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend at By taking over as Memphis Tigers head coach , Penny Hardaway has already made an impact on two of the three guys Rick Barnes is targeting this

However, one man in this year’s coaching carousel could impact several prominent programs, with Kentucky having the most to lose. Anfernee “ Penny ” Hardaway has been a coach on the rise in recent years, so much that his program, Memphis East High School

High expectations for any college coach. For someone in their first college job, the combination easily could be just too much.

Not for Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway.

"I meet pressure head on," Memphis' newest coach said. "I mean I feel like I was born to do what I'm doing right now. I feel like I have a good enough staff and us as a crew and our team, I really love my team, and I feel like we can do whatever we really put our minds to that we can do. I don't shy away from it. I know it's there, but I'm ready for the challenge."

Coaching his hometown Tigers seems like a perfect fit for the man known locally as just Penny. And fans desperate to reclaim past glory see the Memphis native who grew up here, played at then-Memphis State for another local legend in Larry Finch and returned to town when his All-Star career in the NBA ended as the man to restore the program to the glory that includes three Final Fours — even if only one still counts on the books.

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Penny ’s emergence into one of the most successful and impactful coaches in the country and the role that his late friend Desmond played in bringing it into fruition has inspired a new generation of young hoopers in Memphis . Jayden Hardaway To Play For Father Penny Hardaway At Memphis .

More: Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway discusses new recruits and a potential assistant. The two men didn’t actually know each other particularly well. He coached middle school and had an AAU team. He wants to make an impact on kids.

Hardaway, who turns 47 in July, shares those same standards for the Tigers.

"That was my entire mindset coming in," Hardaway said. "I wasn't going to shy away from competition. I wasn't going to shy away from saying what I really felt and what I meant. And I do want to get this team back to where it was. Getting to the Final Fours, getting to the championship games. But sealing the deal whenever we get back."

What the charismatic Hardaway has done in less than three months on the job has cranked optimism higher than ever, and it's paying off already.

Attendance had dropped to 4,583 per game last season, worst in nearly 50 years. By dipping so low, the university missed out on any revenue sharing from playing games at the FedExForum and the NBA's Grizzlies. Donations to the athletic department dipped more than $1 million in the 2017 fiscal year with Memphis on the hook for nearly $10 million after firing Tubby Smith two seasons into his contract.

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Penny Hardaway has agreed to become the next coach of Memphis , sources told ESPN. Chad WithrowVerified account @withrowzone · Mar 19. It’s official. Penny Hardaway is the new head coach at Memphis .

In a matter of weeks, new coach Penny Hardaway successfully landed Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax for Memphis Tigers basketball. Subscribe Now. Already a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login? Activate your digital access. Manage your account settings.

Now Memphis is expecting season ticket sales and donations around $4.5 million for the 2019 fiscal year with men's basketball the big draw. Hardaway gave the university's bottom line a big boost too by agreeing to a three-year deal paying $1.3 million this season, much less than the $3.25 million Smith was due.

That's the result of the confidence in Hardaway whose basketball resume features 14 seasons in the NBA as a player and three straight Tennessee high school championships and an AAU program as a coach.

"I took a public high school from not being ranked to being No. 1 in the country and an AAU program that was just starting out to being No. 1 in the country, so my track record is pretty good," Hardaway said. "When it comes to my coaching, a lot of kids and their parents have seen me coach on the EYBO circuit when I was able to coach. And then my experience in the NBA, that all just puts the icing on the cake."

First, the coach with his own signature shoe turned over half the roster in high style, riding to visits in a customized Mercedes van featuring his own personal logo in the headrests. He added seven players including point guard Alex Lomax following him from East High to land the nation's 19th-best recruiting class by Rivals.com . Hardaway now is competing for the No. 1 player in 2019 — Memphis native James Wiseman — against Kentucky coach John Calipari.

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Memphis coach Penny Hardaway held his first press conference since being introduced by the university last month and Already a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login? Activate your digital access. Memphis Tigers basketball coach Penny Hardaway gives an update on the program.

Penny Hardaway will replace Tubby Smith Tuesday, March 20, 2018 It looks like Memphis has found a new basketball coach . Penny Hardaway will replace Tubby Smith, who the school parted ways with after two seasons.

Hardaway convinced Mike Miller, with his two NBA championships, to join him and hired Tony Madlock away from Mississippi. Sam Mitchell, a former NBA head coach and player, also is being added to the coaching staff. Memphis just opened a new building for men's basketball last December, and Hardaway wants to add some shooting guns to the practice court and upgrades to the lounge to bring the facility up to NBA-level.

It's all part of Hardaway's sales pitch for players wanting to reach the NBA.

"That message spoke loudly to these kids that we're trying to get to our program back to where it used to be and that we wanted them to be a big part of it and if they wanted to go further, that we could help them get further to understand what it takes on and off the court to get to the NBA," Hardaway said.

The Tigers haven't reached the NCAA Tournament since 2014 and last played in the Sweet 16 in 2009 — just before Calipari ditched Memphis for Kentucky. Hardaway has toughened up the nonconference schedule as well with cross-state rival Tennessee among the teams added for the upcoming season.

It's a combination Hardaway believes will test both himself as a coach and his team and make Tigers' basketball must-see TV again for a program considered family for so many people in Memphis.

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Penny expected to take over as Memphis Tigers head coach . Hardaway has already started identifying possible future staff members, including Larry Brown who would serve as an assistant on Penny 's staff, according to CBS Sports .

Sources: Hardaway to be Memphis ' new coach . Former Memphis star Penny Hardaway has agreed to a deal to become the next Tigers men's basketball coach , and a news conference is expected on Tuesday, sources told ESPN.

"I'm ready, I'm very eager," Hardaway said. "I took this job knowing that I was ready for it, and I'm all in right now."

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More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Related slideshow: NCAA tournaments (provided by photo services)

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