Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway was not happy when speaking with reporters after the Tigers’ 70–62 loss to SMU on Thursday night at FedEx Forum.
The Tigers’ loss itself fits more into the overarching theme regarding under-performance in the program this season. Memphis (9–8, 3–4 American Athletic Conference) recorded its third consecutive loss and its eighth loss in its last 12 games.
Through 17 games this season, the program has suffered its worst record since the 2004–05 National Invitational Tournament team under former Memphis coach John Calipari. When Hardaway was asked by the media if he had faith he could get the job done as head coach of the program, he shared his candid thoughts.
“This media gets f—ed up sometimes when it comes to me,” Hardaway said. “We don’t have our full roster, Y’all know we don’t have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f—ing questions about if I feel like I can do something.
“If I had my roster like they did, then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do. I’m coaching really hard. My boys are playing really hard. I’m not embarrassed about nothing.”
The Tigers’ Tyler Harris, who finished with 17 points, and Jalen Duren—who recorded 11—were the only Memphis players to record double figures in scoring in the game.
According to the Commercial Appeal, Memphis record its worst three-point shooting performance in three years in the loss, going 1-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Despite the Tigers struggles, Hardaway felt the need to remind reporters that he is coaching a talented group of very young athletes.
“We have four freshmen starting,” Hardaway said. “Y‘all need to act like it. Act like we have 17 and 18-year olds trying to learn how to play against 22, 23 and 24-year old guys.
Stop disrespecting me, bro. Don’t do that. I work way too f—ing hard. All I do is work.”
The Tigers return to action when they go on the road to face Tulsa on Sunday.
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