Penny Hardaway rips veterans amid Memphis’ struggles
After a hot start that saw them win five games in a row, Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers have hit a rough patch. They are now on a three-game losing skid following a 67-63 road loss to the Ole Miss Rebels last Saturday.
Hardaway could not contain his emotions when he spoke about the state of his team after the defeat at the hands of the Rebels. He even went off on the Tigers’ veterans, whom Hardaway believes have weighed the team down with their attitude.
“We’ve got so much negativity in our locker room with veterans being jealous,” Hardaway told The Athletic during a telephone interview after Saturday’s loss. “Everybody’s trying to get to the NBA off the ranking we had, but nobody is willing to sacrifice minutes, touches, anything. It’s been miserable. You can imagine what a 17-year-old is thinking as he’s trying to figure it out.”
Hardaway is understandably frustrated with how his team is faring, considering that the Tigers were ranked in the offseason as the No. 1 recruiting class, with the additions of a trio of transfers and a pair of five-star prospects in Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren.
Since taking over as the head coach of the Tigers, Hardaway has yet to lead the program back to the NCAA Tournament, which Memphis last reached in 2014.