Is anybody having a better spring than Penny Hardaway and Memphis?
Just hours after our Rob Dauster noted the absolute monster Hardaway has quickly built at his alma mater, Hardaway and Co. added yet another huge piece to the puzzle when Boogie Ellis, a former Duke commit, pledged to the Tigers.
That makes three major commitments in three days after top-50 recruit Lester Quinones and one of the top transfers on the market, Rayjon Tucker of Little Rock, said they were headed to Memphis. Which, of course, is on top of 2019’s No. 1 prospect James Wiseman, top-50 recruit DJ Jeffries and four stars Malcolm Dandridge and Damion Baugh already in the fold.
A monster, indeed.
Ellis gives the Tigers another win as a 6-foot-2, top-50 combo guard that had been committed to the Blue Devils before Tre Jones decided to return for a sophomore season and Cassius Stanley, another top 2019 recruit, committed.
The Tigers went a respectable 22-14 overall and 11-7 in the American in Hardaway’s first year, but the former NBA All-Star is delivering on his vision to return Memphis to national prominence. The general thinking when he was hired by Memphis last year was that he’d be able to put the Tigers in position to land major recruits given his status as an NBA icon and wildly successful grassroots and high school coach, but few could have foreseen he’d be this effective this quickly.
Memphis is going to be one of the most talented teams in the country in Hardaway’s second season. That’s a remarkable feat for a first-time coach, even one with the cache as Hardaway. He’s getting players to Memphis. All that’s left to do is translate that into wins. A lot of them.