Memphis basketball preview!

#146 R.P.I.  Memphis vs. #153 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball now face-down Keith Lee and William Bedford for METRO-Conference superiority.

The Hokies and Dell Curry and Bobby ‘Slusher’ Beecher run ball in the N.I.T. pre-season thingy verses the all-World Memphis Tigers; who could prove to be tough to tame. The same deal then, the same deal now. As this is a very very very very good Memphis men’s basketball squad ladies and gents. In pure Talent terms to be sure. How that all fits/works together remains to be 30-game regular seasonally seen. As Memphis is VERY big, very good, and pretty dang athletic while being: “big” and “very good” alike. Suffice it to say that this one is a tall order. That’s the order of the day. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Memphis Head CoachAnfernee DeonPennyHardaway: Age=5o, 65–32 (.663) overall, and @Memphis. Has a rep’ for recruiting, pacing and fun-looking roundball.
$2,450,000.oo (new $20mill extension too!)

Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 215 lb. (98 kg)
N.b.a. 3rd pick, (overall)!!!

Baller Hardaway grew up playing basketball in Memphis for Treadwell High School where he averaged 36.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.9 steals, and 2.8 blocks as a senior and was named Parade Magazine National High School player of the year. He finished his high school career with a mere 3,o39 points.

At Memphis State University (now gone the University of Memphis), Hardaway had to sit out the 199o–91 season with the Memphis State Tigers due to being academically ineligible. While he was sitting out, Hardaway was robbed at gunpoint outside his cousin’s house and was shot in his foot by a stray bullet, putting his career in jeopardy. After he was inspired to do better in life and to accomplish more, he made the Dean’s List with a 3.4 grade-point average as an education major.

Hardaway returned for his junior season (1992–93) and bettered his numbers from the previous season. He averaged 22.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 6.4 apg, 2.4 spg, and 1.2 bpg. He accumulated two triple-doubles. He was again named an All-American.

Hardaway achieved a 3.4 cumulative GPA, although he passed up his senior season to enter the 1993 NBA Draft. In 1994, Memphis State retired his jersey number, 25, Hardaway’s number while playing for the Tigers. He returned to the University of Memphis in May 2oo3 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in professional studies, ten years after leaving school early to turn pro.

Hardaway was named #5 on the list of top 1oo modern college point guards by Additionally, he was a leading vote-getter on ESPN Conference USA Silver Anniversary Team. N.I.T. Champ’ (as a baller).

In 2o11, Hardaway took over for his friend Desmond Merriweather as a coach for his middle school alma mater, Lester Middle School, while Merriweather was undergoing treatment for colon cancer (St.Nektarios bless!). With a goal to have each of his players graduate from college, Hardaway instituted a mandatory tutoring program. He coached the Lester Lions to the West Tennessee State title 58–57, finishing 28–3 for the season. After this he was ascended to East High School and eventual Big Whistle for the same.

Memphis (2018–present):
Hardaway was then hired as head coach by his alma mater, the Memphis Tigers, on March 19, 2o18. Hardaway was hired to replace former head coach Tubby Smith. In his first year as head coach, Hardaway led the Tigers to the N.I.T. He also secured the number one recruiting class in the country with the commitments of number one rated high school player James Wiseman, D. J. Jeffries, who decommitted from Kentucky; Boogie Ellis, who decommitted from Duke; and others. On May 17, 2o19, Precious Achiuwa, a top-2o five-star recruit, signed with Memphis

Television and film:
Before Hardaway was drafted, he and future Orlando Magic teammate Shaquille O’Neal acted in prominent roles in the college basketball feature film Blue Chips (1994); Both players portrayed college freshmen on the varsity basketball team of a fictional university

He owns a barbershop and beauty salon in downtown Memphis and a turf business based in Miami. In 2o12, Hardaway was announced to be part of an ownership group including Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake that was to purchase a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies.

Penny has a son Jayden who plays guard at the University of Memphis where Penny is head coach. Anfernee also has two daughters: LaTanfernee (born 1992) and Laila Hardaway (born 2oo5)
both with his former girlfriend from high school, Latarsha.
Penny also has a son Ashton that is a sophomore in HS

Memphis at a glance:

  • 1st best in S.W.A.T.’s!!!
  • 11th in FG% O!!!
  • 12th in FG% allowed D!!!
  • 22nd in Swipes!!
  • 27th most FTA’s/game!!
  • 57th in 3-point percentage made.
  • 335th worst in Turnovers, however!!!
  • With NO injuries listed (“thx” @Coach God!)

Returning Starters=3

Memphis Strengths:

  • Memphis only courts four, that’s (4) pre-season All-Conference caliber ballers!
  • Memphis also really worked: Iowa.St., Miami FLA, and Oregon as portaling or incoming transferring help(s) plural go.
  • Ditto… luring outta retirement legendary vagabond/itinerant Big-Whistle and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown. The L.B. and his N.b.a., NC2A, and Olympic Gold blings quite plural!
  • One, #2, (see: pic), and true-C: Jalen Duren …he of the Pterodactyl wingspan of 7′5″&¼!!! Was the No. 1 prospect in the nation according to Rivals and a consensus 5-star recruit! Is he the #1 prospect in the N.b.a. Draft next spring? Tho’ last spring he only led Montverde to the 2021 High School Nationals championship and averaged 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 62.9 percent from the floor. That’s all. Then he only went and gots himself a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship representing USA Basketball! Then he only turned down a fairly lucrative pro-hoops Aussie contract on tops of all of that. WOW. This is a legit true-C keeper kid men. 6′11″, 255 chiseled lbs. with legit hops in his debut-year springs beneath all of dat. The book says… “widely considered the best “true post” player in his class by recruiting sites and sportswriters alike. He wields influence in the paint due to his size, strength, athleticism, and footwork that allows him to dominate on both sides of the floor. Yah; 67% from the floor and 69% from the charity-stipe strips a lotta opposing gears. Physical shot-blocker (4.8 bpg), stud. Did I mention the 15.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg, and the swats and the wingspan yet? And hommies sneakers are modern-era totally bad-azz. Seriously, this dood and his gear are seriously put together alike. Enjoy him while he Elvis’ backyard, lasts. BONUS: only went fo’: 22 points, 19 rebounds, and five blocked shots in his last time out. Snaps! Lindy’s American Athletic Newcomer of the Year.
  • 6′9″, 188 lb. stringy’est-string-bean, and nugget or rookie year Emoni Bates is great. Some might even say he actually enjoys the greater ceiling than the big-man does up above. 2o2o Gatorade National Player of the Year says you should give a listen. As Mister Bates mastered output or scholastic scoring over in Ypsilanti, Mich. Only averaged 33-n-change and only routinely hit up 40-to-50 point nites… including dropping a record-setting 63 on O if you need him. As his contemporary: 13.3 ppg with 3.5 rpg and 2.3 apg on a nifty 42% from 3-point land don’t need much. Consensus Top-5 recruit from all recruiting services. Put in 46-points in a H.S. contest as a Jr… as in Jr.High baller! Won every Wolverine State thingy you can win— tho’ only 1 state bling (as a Fr.) to show for it. Some analysis hints he stopped developing. Did decommit from neighborly Michigan State to eventually ink with Memphis. 247Sports and Rivals pegged Emoni as the second-best player in his class behind Jalen Duren. So, whatever issues he may or may not have… 348 other D-1 programs would love to take issue with them. (BONUS: streaking hawt behind the arc of late…)
  • Lester Quinones gets you: 9.0 ppg with 4.5 rpg 0.8 apg and a team-lead on a thieving best 2.3 spg are star numbers with mo’ looks/reps/shots anywhere else from this 6′5″, 2o5 lb. third-year Wing or SG/S-F combo’ baller. 3-year starter… and he is also an A.A.C. Honor Roll scorer. So that’s never a bad look. History says Quinones to be a 3-year-starter, and before that he was: the no. 64 prospect in the nation by 247Sports and the No. 12 shooting guard to boot. Really blossomed as an H.S. Sr. year guy, and maybe did not get his recruiting late-bloomer run for it. Great defender, with 55% from the floor and 38% from 3-point-land and is prolly a fringe overseas candidate at the moment. And Lindy’s Most Versatile American Athletic. And huggers or shortest-shorts. Seriously…

    …^^^he^^^ … good. As in… VERY!
  • 6′9″, 215 lb., and rarefied final-year: DeAndre Williams is your 3rd-leading Tiger in output. 9.3 ppg with 3.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 spg, and a block (0.9 bpg), is not the worst stat-stuffing from your theoretical 3rd-option on O. H’town baller coming up who has Memphis Tiger den stuck around. Evansville transfer who has already sat a year and been gifted the messy last year (same as everyone else). So, this is a very mature kid for it. Need him and his I.D. for scoring later on if you know what Eye means… in the meantime, ‘dre-Will’ was a nearly unheard of: ‘homeschooled’ 3-star (***) recruit. Never read that one before? Seems to ante-up on the bigger stage or post-season for it all too. Loquacious leader type; steers the herd. Can sky and will dunk on you too.

Memphis Weaknesses:

  • …coaching sewing-circle whispers say… anti-Gestalt or less than the sum of their most shiny parts— at least for the last couple of years.
  • …this has created some grumbling behind the Tiger Tale scenes.
  • …one pretty good/experienced Wing (Boogie Ellis) and one really good backup C (Moussa Cisse) are gone. Those spots are not super deep for it.

Tiger Bench: (depth=6 to 8 legit deep!)

r-Jr. year and somewhat/somehow familiar-looking… Landers Nolley II: is a 6′7″, 2o5 lb. lean low-B.M.I. slasher from somewhere or another… He was the leading scorer for Memphis last year (13.5 ppg) tho’ down to 8.0 ppg on 4.0 rpg and 2.0 apg thus far this season. As his 3-pointer has not been dropping at 23% from deep so far. Nonetheless, 1st-string All-A.A.C. pre-season is never a bad thing. Neither is the nearly unique Jewel-Ray look of: having led two-different clubs to two different and two-straight state championships; albeit in two different States! Per one in Chicago and then two back-to-back in Fairburn, Ga., with Langston Hughes High School. Snaps @him; 3-different ones in point of fact. Most of my connections still think LNII is a pro’… somewhere at some level, if/when this Slasher gets his range to lengthen to legit-3-point-range. Seems familiar, too… did I mention the familiarity yets?

This one seems familiar as well… as Jayden Hardaway is a: 6′5″, 2o9 lb., r-junior season lead-G who looks even mo’ familiar with his ‘fro out. This Hardaway has not played a metric ton at Memphis; yet. Tho’ this year he is netting you: 5.5 ppg with 1.5 rpg and 1.5 apg on 67% when dialing long-distance. Does have a localized AAA State Championship ring, and also fields a noticeable: wingspan of 6′11″. As if he wants to go out there and “son” everyone. (Literally…). Deadeye textbook pure clinical shooter on breaking tape as well. Someone father-figured his stroke like a champ.

6′8″, 2o6 lb., nugget or 1st-year-voter Josh Minott is a freaky freak in warm-ups. As he has some krazy throw-down midair leaping looks. And he shoots really close to the rack for it: 7.0 ppg with 3.0 rpg in skywalker relief is on-trend. Ditto Joshua’s stellar 84.6% from the floor, married to 71.4% on FTA’s, and electrified by 100.0% in his trifectas. That’s all. Tabbed by 247Sports as a 4-star recruit and the 29th-best prospect in the nation with on Florida five-A (*****) to show for it. Only made a $10K halftime-contest-shot along the way… so, you’d have to think Minott non-limelight shy. Listed as Lindy’s American Athletic Top N.B.A. Prospect! (And he is subbin’, in!!!)

5′8″, 149 lb., Sr. year Iowa State transfer One, Tyler Harris and his magnificent 70% when dialing long-distance got him included here, wowzo!!! Fan-fave mighty mite, of course, likes to flex/pose when he nets one behind the 3-point arc too. Homespun Memphis kid, who was the 2018 Class AAA Tennessee Mr. Basketball Award winner. Pure scholastic scorer from range, 30.5 ppg average says so. Prolly an exported instant-O just add scorer’s table P.T. for it.

The Key to upsetting all-Galaxy Memphis up in Gotham is... what(s)???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Tigers who could snarl @Tech=6'ish.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

…there is a lot to get Beale Street taken and smitten with here; let me tell you.

As these Tigers are “grrrrrrr-EAT” upfront and they have some very solid Wing-work as well. As in… not real sure we can stop their A-game punch.

Then again, I’m not entirely sure they will land their A-game punch. As they do not always play to the massive strengths (i.e., down-low) and look missive of the same at times upon breaking take.

Tho’ I’ma pretty dang sure we gotta stay outta foul-trouble here; or
this one could get punchy indeed. In spades to boot.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an A.c.c. ask-back or re-up.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Memphis is up +3% in shooting percentage margin (both are O & D great here, Memphis being just a little greater is all); however, VeeTee is up a staggering +14% in 3-point percentage margin (nearly evenly O & D superiority split too), and the Tigers are up one single solitary carom or +1 in rebounding margin. (Both are well above average in Windex work).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… I should wait for another game for shooting percentage margin, in 3-point percentage margin, and in rebounding margin.

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:
VeeTee is #1 in Scoring D allowed and a roguishly handsome 3rd best in trifectas denied!!!

BONUS: Memphis is a good 84th best on the offensive glass, whereas VeeTee is only 3o4th on the offensive backboard.

PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Memphis offense has averaged 78.2 possessions per game, the 1oth-most in Division I. Virginia Tech has not been as uptempo as the Tigers and is averaging only 65.1 possessions per game (ranked 3o6th, nationally).

The Tigers are +2 in R&R.
VeeTee is up +9% at the charity stripe for the year.
Memphis is a .ooo Neutral; whereas VeeTee is .ooo as a Swiss.

The Call...

No.35 Net Ranking Memphis vs. no.51 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

Memphis (4-0) vs. Virginia Tech (5-0)
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York; Wednesday, ≅9:30 p.m. EST

Well, here Eye (incorrectly) thought or at least hoped that we/VeeTee would be nationally ranked by now to face likewise nationally Memphis in this made for telly event.

We are close (27th, A.P.) and (28th, Coach’s) … and surely upsetting #9 Memphis might wanna tally-ho’ word wif dat, right?


Tho’ there I go yet again… putting the cart before the horse in what some would have me say could turn into a game of “P” “I” “G” vs. a buncha wildcat formation Tigers.

As these doods is… doooooods!
As said above… if/when they come correct.

We do have a better posting bench this year for the first time in a very long-time.

We do have Mutts (who plays bigger than he is) and Aluma down low.

How long will the refs allow us to hardwood them though?


Tempo is the predicative key here men. We gotta stall-ball this one. As we do not (quite) have enuff freaks to beat Memphis in an Indy Formula-1 T&F meet.

’cause if we shoot well and mo’ or less stay outta foul-trouble long enough, don’t die of shock if coaching the verb makes this one close enough to just nick, late. 

As our big-whistle is mo’ than a penny fo’ yo’ thoughts!
He’s a damn dime, piece!
If that does not happen, however…
don’t die of shock if Memphis pieces us up down-low.

(63% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=73, Memphis=77

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