Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Ousts Tubby Smith After 21 Win Season

Coming off his second season as the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball head coach, Tubby Smith is on his way out. Going 21-13 this past season, he would also take the Tigers to a AAC semifinals bid last Saturday.

What Caused It?

Many are questioning the decision to fire Smith from Memphis. A lot feel that Smith was being thrust into an unwinnable situation, inheriting a total team rebuild. Entering Memphis in 2016, his first season would be a winning season, going 19-13.

This past season, he would take memphis to the AAC Tournament, competing against USF, Tulsa and Cincinnati.

Speaking about the rumors, Smith would confirm that he is no longer the head coach for the Memphis Tigers. The reports would begin on Tuesday, circulating mainly around who would replace him.

Before leaving the program, Smith would offer some final words as the coach of the Tigers. The search is on for a new coach, and the Tigers appear to be putting the house on an NBA legend.

Who’s Replacing Him?

Amidst the rumors of possible replacements, there seems to be only one name that Memphis will pursue. The Tigers appear to be going all in on a former Olympic player and NBA All Star: Penny Hardaway.

According to ESPN, Hardaway would potentially target Larry Brown to be his assistant coach. Hardaway is “actively preparing to be a college coach” according to CBS Sports. This won’t be Hardaway’s first rodeo as coach, should he get the position. Firstly, he is currently operating the Team Penny Nike EYBL program. Secondly, he is also coaching at East High in Memphis.

Being involved in both programs, Hardaway has ties to three of the top-40 players of 2019. One of those ties is with the No. 1 prospect James Wiseman.

All in all, the Tigers are banking it all on the former Orlando Magic star. Ultimately, the Tigers are now facing, once again, a total rebuild to their coaching staff. Will Memphis be able to get the legend as the face of the franchise?

Finally, stick with ESPN 98.1 FM – 850 AM WRUF for more on the coaching search for Memphis.

About Stephen Cabrera

Stephen Cabrera is a current University of Florida Journalism student and fan of football, basketball, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.

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