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It is time for Penny Hardaway to deliver

It's time for penny hardaway to deliver

As Penny Hardaway enters his fourth season as Memphis basketball head coach, there is one big hurdle he has yet to overcome. He needs to lead the Tigers to the NCAA tournament. 

In his first three years, he had an excuse not to make it. In Penny’s first year, he was a rookie head coach and dealt with many players from the Tubby Smith regime. The second season he had James Wiseman leave the team, D.J. Jeffries out during a critical stretch of the season, and the Covid-19 pandemic forced the NCAA to cancel the tournament.

Last season, Deandre Williams was suspended for the first few games, Penny did not have a lot of practice time with the team, and some of the games were postponed. 

This year he will have no excuses. Penny agrees that making the tournament is a must, “Absolutely, the NCAA tournament is where it is that is what you are playing for,” he explained. Penny knows that it is time to get over the hump. 

They have been sensational on the defensive side of the ball. Their defensive efficiency numbers were 57th, 2nd, and 2nd. This is not a surprise because Penny is a defensive-minded coach. 

However, on the offensive side of the ball is where their problems lie. Their numbers in offensive efficiency were 120th, 250th, and 185th. The offense took a step in the right direction this past season, but they still have a long way to go. The last time the Tigers made the tournament, they were 97th in the nation in offensive efficiency. 

Also, they can improve in two key areas. Free-throw shooting and turnovers have been a big problem. They will help their chances to make the tournament if they can at least be average in these categories. 

The Tigers need to have a solid point guard play to increase their chances of making the tournament. Currently, they have one true point guard in Alex Lomax. Alex Lomax is a good point guard, but he has his limitations. They need to find another one in the transfer portal to push Lomax and help make this team better. 

If the Tigers do not make the tournament, there should be some changes. Penny Hardaway should not be fired, but he must change some things because if he does not, that is insanity. 

There has been a lot of talk around town about winning a national championship, but the essential thing that needs to happen next season is for Memphis to make the tournament.

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Photo courtesy of ESPN.

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