Penny Hardaway began 5 freshmen within the opening recreation of his second 12 months at Memphis, at which level he grew to become the primary high-major coach in historical past to start a season with an all-freshmen lineup.
That was 4 years in the past.
Evidently, lots has modified since then — with each the game of school basketball and Hardaway particularly. One-time switch waivers have typically made being outdated extra doable and younger tougher. It is a totally different time. And but, for causes which might be complicated, some coaches nonetheless have not correctly adjusted to this actuality.
However plenty of them have — Hardaway amongst them. And that was on full show late Friday when his Tigers received 70-55 at Missouri whereas relying nearly totally on gamers 22-or-older.
Former McDonald’s All-American Jahvon Quinerly led Memphis with 18 factors, eight rebounds, 5 assists and three steals. He is 24 years outdated and the principle purpose why Memphis outscored Missouri 44-22 within the second half whereas notching the kind of victory that ought to assist this AAC program on Choice Sunday.
“I credit score Memphis,” stated Missouri coach Dennis Gates. “They’d an unbelievable gameplan in that second half.”
The common age of the 5 gamers who scored essentially the most for Memphis at Missouri is 22.8. Quinerly, once more, is 24. Jordan Brown and Caleb Mills are 23. Jaykwon Walton and David Jones are 22. None of them started their faculty careers at Memphis. However their paths to the Bluff Metropolis and ages should not be mocked or ridiculed. They need to as an alternative be admired for example of a coach studying on the job and impressively adjusting to the world altering round him.
Has it at all times been easy crusing?
Proof of that’s that Hardaway is presently serving an NCAA-levied three-game suspension. It has been bumpy at instances. That acknowledged, Hardaway has guided Memphis to back-to-back NCAA Event appearances — plus two consecutive finishes within the high 25 at KenPom.com — and is seemingly now on his technique to doing it once more. His Tigers are 2-0 with a victory on the street over a projected NCAA Event workforce. That is why they’re as much as No. 21 in Saturday morning’s up to date CBS Sports activities Prime 25 And 1 every day faculty basketball rankings.
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