Penny Hardaway has put together the best recruiting class in Memphis basketball history and has given the Tigers plenty of great lineup options.
Year one of the Penny Hardaway era was a modest success for Memphis. The Tigers improved significantly as the season progressed, nearly putting together a resume worthy of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in the process before ending up in the NIT.
Memphis won a round in the NIT before losing to Creighton, but they were led by seniors Jeremiah Martin and Keyvon Davenport, both of whom have graduated. While losing your top two scorers would be an issue for a lot of programs, Memphis has simply reloaded with a class of freshmen that could rival almost any in the country right now.
Hardaway pulled an early coup by securing a commitment from No. 1 recruit, center James Wiseman, the consensus top recruit in America, to serve as the foundation of the class. Five other excellent recruits have followed Wiseman, and Hardaway still has a scholarship to add another stud to the mix.
That could go to No. 5 overall recruit, combo guard R.J. Hampton who may be leaning toward Kansas or No. 14 overall recruit, small forward Precious Achiuwa where Memphis is believed to be the favorite.
Simply put, Memphis could be a huge threat not only in the American Athletic Conference next season, but also to teams contending for a Final Four berth, and possibly a National Championship Game appearance. Hardaway has plenty of options to assemble his ideal starting five, so let’s look at some ideas of how Memphis can put an elite lineup on the floor.