Memphis men’s basketball coach Penny Hardaway had it with reporters on Thursday and unleashed an expletive-laced tirade during his postgame press conference.
The Tigers lost to SMU 70-62. With Memphis having one of the top recruiting classes coming into the 2021-22 season, it built the hype for the season. Memphis was ranked as high as No. 9 in the AP poll earlier this season but has completely fallen out of the Top 25 after starting the season 9-8.
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Frustrations boiled over Thursday night after losing to the Mustangs.
“Stop asking me stupid f—ing question,” said Hardaway, who previously starred in the NBA for the Orlando Magic.
“We don’t have our full roster. Y’all know we don’t have our full roster. … I’m coaching really hard, my boys are playing really hard, I’m not embarrassed about nothing,” he said. “We have four freshmen starting, y’all need to act like it. Act like we got 17- and 18- and 19-year-olds out here trying to learn how to play against 22-, 23- and 24-year-old guys.
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“Come on, man. Stop disrespecting me, bro. Like, don’t do that. I work too f—ing hard. I work way too hard for that. Y’all write all these bulls— articles about me and all I do is work. We got young kids on the floor. They got young kids on the floor.”
According to 247 Sports, the Tigers had the top 2021 recruiting class. Memphis had two five-start commits and two four-star commits. The hype was palpable.
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Memphis could still sneak into the NCAA Tournament, but even with multiple 20-win seasons in recent years, the Tigers haven’t made the big dance since 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.