MEMPHIS — Now that we know the hype is legit surrounding Penny Hardaway and the Tigers this season, you can’t blame Tiger fans for thinking big, and not just about snapping that NCAA Tournament drought.
With the talent at his disposal, including potential lottery picks Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates, Hardaway and the U of M seem like a lock to be a preseason top ten team.
Where a Sweet 16 this year will likely be seen as a disappointment.
But as 81-year old assistant coach Larry Brown pointed out to the team after their open practice Tuesday night, it takes more than talent to win.
Chemistry and roles…just as important.
“It’s like Coach said, the talent doesn’t mean anything. You gotta be able to play together. It’s great having it though. Believe me, it’s been great having that much talent but we have to find a way to make it mesh and work for all of us,” said Tigers coach Penny Hardaway. “That’s what we’re looking to do right now. That’s what practices are for. It’s about meshing. We’re definitely happy to be able to look at this roster and have so many options on where we can go. It’s just amazing. It’s definitely the best roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. Looking forward to some big things.”
“It still goes back to our talent. We have a lot of talent but talent don’t win games,” said Tigers forward DeAndre Williams. “We’re working on grit and grind in practice to get better.”