Tiger’s basketball used to be the talk of the town in Memphis, Tennessee. Now people don’t even know what time the next game starts or who the Tigers are playing. It’s safe to say, Coach Pastner’s time is up. The program is at an all-time low. Sunday’s loss against ECU was the last strike for Pastner. ECU won its first game at the FedEx Forum Sunday. The Pirates were winless in the conference this season until Sunday. A lot fans had already given up on Pastner before the loss to ECU, but after this loss, it’s safe to say everybody is done with Pastner.
Coach Pastner has not been fired, but it is coming soon. Pastner will probably finish the rest of the season, but every fan will be counting down the days until he is gone. Pastner is a great guy, but being nice is not enough in this business. Results are very important, you have to win and give the fans hope. Attendance is extremely low and the future does not look bright either. Pastner does not have a top recruiting class coming in next season. Which means the team will struggle again next season under Pastner. The only challenge in getting rid of Pastner is his contract. His buyout is $10 million. But after the ECU loss, I believe they will find the money to buyout Pastner.
So what is the next move for the University of Memphis? Who should be the next coach at the University of Memphis?
The next coach at the University of Memphis should be Penny Hardaway. He would be the perfect pick for the program. Penny could bring excitement back to the program and fans would be excited to see him on the sideline leading his alma mater.
Penny has gain coaching experience and is currently coaching at East High School in Memphis. He also is running a very successful AAU program, Team Penny. East has played one of the toughest high school schedules this season and has only one blemish to their record. Their one lost this season was to one of the best teams in the country.
Penny appeared on the Chris Vernon Show and he told Chris that he would love to coach at the college level. He looks forward to being one of the best and he wants to play the best. Penny also has experience coaching the Lawson brothers. He was K.J. and Dedric’s AAU coach and their younger brother Chandler is currently playing for Penny at East High School. Penny is developing Chandler into a 6’9 point guard. Penny’s East team is also exciting to watch. They play a very up-tempo style, which I believe Penny could bring to the collegiate level.
Penny would have no problem with recruiting local talent. I believe Penny could recruit talent across the nation. He is still a basketball legend; it would be extremely hard for a kid to turn him down. His experience on the AAU circuit will help with recruiting too. Penny is still a major icon in the pop culture and has one of the bestselling signature shoes by Nike. Plus he was a superstar in the NBA. He can relate to players and he knows what it takes to get to the next level.
I believe Penny would coach the program for free if the university asked him. Penny loves the city and the university; I believe the University of Memphis wouldn’t have to pay Penny a lot of money to coach the program. This would be a great benefit to the university and addition, Penny would be great with the local media and the boosters. He understands the media aspect of the job. He is a very smart man and very likable. Those two qualities register great with the media. Penny is already a powerful spokesman for the University of Memphis. He would easily bring back the national exposure the program lost under Pastner.
Penny has a lifetime contract with Nike and the University of Memphis is a Nike school. Plus the city of Memphis is Nike’s second biggest hub. Just think of the great things Nike would do for the program. The apparel would be awesome. The Tiger’s basketball program could be the basketball version of the Oregon football program. Oregon’s uniforms are super cool. Looking good on the court and having access to the best gear is very important to recruits.
I could go on and on about the perks of hiring Penny Hardaway and why he is the perfect fit for the job. The bottom line is, Penny should be our next basketball coach at the University of Memphis.