Hardaway talks about getting Duren and Bates to Memphis, another recruit in the works

Penny Hardaway's first media availablity
Penny Hardaway's first media availablity
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tigers Head Basketball Coach Penny Hardaway is basking in the glow of his second number one recruiting class in his four years on the job.

Penny saying building relationships with Jalen Duren and his family were key to getting the 5-star big man to sign with the Tigers. He also says using his reputation as an All NBA Big Guard at 6′7″ to mentor the 6′9″ Emoni Bates helped convince him to come to play for the University of Memphis.

Hardaway says the NCAA’s new Name, Image, and Likeness program, where college athletes can make money off their game, did play a part.

”NIL kind of eased the tension with kids thinking that they had to go make money to go to the G-League and that they couldn’t go to college because it wasn’t permitted, you know, at the time. But then, the NIL coming into play, along with kid’s you know, respecting me and the staff and the movement that was going on here, and the movement that was happening here in Memphis, that made it even better.”  

One other thing, Hardaway was asked if the use of Li’l Penny helped in getting Bates in the fold, he said, “Li’l Penny would like to think so.”

Hardaway is still jamming on the recruiting trail, for 2022. He and the Tigers are getting on the final four list of Forward Chris Livingston, a consensus 5-star recruit from Akron, Ohio. 

Also in the running for the 6′6″ wing are Kentucky, Georgetown and Tennessee State as one of the latest prep stars to give a nod to HBCU’s.

Livingston is just as comfortable on the slash to the rim as he is on spot-up jumpers from beyond the arc.

Livingston is set to visit Memphis the weekend of the Miss. State Football game.

It will be his last college visit.

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