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How much of an impact will Larry Brown have on the Memphis Tigers?

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Analyzing the type impact that Larry Brown will have on the Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball Program?

On July 8th,2021, the Memphis Tigers hired Larry Brown as an assistant coach. Penny Hardaway, the head coach of the Memphis Tigers, had been trying to hire him for as long as he had been the head coach of the Tigers.

Larry Brown is the only coach who won a national championship in college basketball and championship in the NBA, so his experience and advice could be a difference-maker for the Memphis Tigers. He will be 80 years old when he takes the sidelines in November.

Penny Hardaway has made it very clear that he wants to run his program like an NBA program, and it was brilliant of him to hire one of the best NBA coaches of all time.

It was also a very nice strategy by the Memphis PR team to announce the Larry Brown hiring on the same day he won the Chuck Daly Lifetime achievement award.

Larry Brown explained why he joined the Memphis Tigers.

“I didn’t want to come on in a role where I’m not doing what an assistant coach is supposed to do. “(Hardaway) will define my role, and I’ll do whatever he feels is necessary. He’s the head coach. I want to be the resource he needs and help him in any way I can. I’m going to do whatever he wants me to do, go wherever he wants me to go. I think he’s as good as anybody and getting better all the time,” explained Brown.

Larry Brown is saying all the right things now, and the partnership between Brown and Hardaway can work as long as Brown wants to coach. There are really two big issues that the Memphis Tigers have that Brown may be able to fix.

The first issue is the offense. It has just not been good enough in the Hardaway era. The Tigers must address this issue for them to reach their full potential. Larry Brown may help, but he is an old guy, and he has a reputation for being a defensive coach. Also, many of the issues they have on offense may ultimately come down to how much each player can contribute in terms of scoring because they lost their two best individual players in D.J. Jeffries and Boogie Ellis.

The second issue is the lack of point guard depth. Alex Lomax is an outstanding point guard, and he can really help this team. However, the Tigers could use another point guard to help them increase their chances of reaching the NCAA tournament.

If Larry Brown can help them accomplish these goals, that will be great; the problem is he will not have the final say. Also, he can help Penny address those issues, but it still may not help the Tigers reach the NCAA tournament.

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Photo courtesy of Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal.

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