College basketball season is months away, but there’s a lot of hype surrounding the Memphis Tigers--That’s because they feature the top freshmen class in the nation.
Coach Penny Hardaway is busy with his summer camp and workouts, but he took some time today to talk about what he has seen from his talented newcomers.
Top-ranked recruit James Wiseman and his fellow freshmen have all made the transition to campus for summer classes and workout…Coach Hardaway said he is enjoying the process of experimenting with different matchups with such a talented and competitive group.
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Coach Penny Hardaway and his staff landed the nation’s top recruiting class. Now, the on-court grind has officially started.
“They are as advertised honestly. They’re freshmen. They’re going to make mistakes. But as far as talent, very talented,” Hardaway said.
The Tigers have opened up their summer sessions in preparation for tip-off in the fall. The NCAA allows 32 hours of workouts over an eight-week period.
It is still early, but Hardaway likes the competition he is seeing.
“It’s like they’re all in. Everybody’s buying in. Haven’t had one rough spot yet. Everybody’s working hard,” Hardaway said. “Everybody understands the magnitude of what’s going on and it’s been great seeing that from the young guys and from the guys from last year.”
The Tigers will get a chance to build chemistry in August with four exhibition games in the Bahamas.
Teams can play internationally once every four years.
“Even though these games are not quote, unquote real games, they’re games that we can kind of see what our talent is going to do together, what matchups work well,” Hardaway said.
Hardaway added that the returnees are embracing their leadership role but the battle for playing time is heated.
“Obviously at some point it’s going to be a competition. Some’s going to start. Someone’s going to come off the bench. That’s going to be settled on the court,” he said.
“We just want everybody’s talent level to be at the highest level possible so that we can win a national championship.”
With RJ Hampton deciding to play pro ball in Australia…The Tigers still have one scholarship left.
Hardaway said they haven’t made a decision on what to do with it.
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