Penny Hardaway calls out veterans, again, after Tigers 67-63 loss to Ole Miss

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 10:09 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More questions surround Tigers basketball after falling in their 3rd straight game. This time a 67-63 loss to Ole Miss.

Leading to another honesty hour in Penny Hardaway’s postgame press conference. Hardaway cracking down on the locker-room. He said he’s been playing the guys who statistically should do the best, but not the players who care. He promised to address it and not favor the vets who aren’t playing for the team.

“We have as much talent as anyone in the country. But sometimes talent doesn’t wanna work together you know it’s a tug-of-war in our locker room for who is the man and the focus has left from the older guys,” the Memphis head coach said. “The younger guys are really trying to pull it together. Emoni, Jalen, Josh are trying to hold it together with a few veterans who really love this team. I feel bad for them because that’s not how it’s supposed to be.”

After being in and out of the rotation the past few games, freshman Josh Minott played 17 minutes. He finished with 5 points and 5 rebounds. He admitted he’s been confused and frustrated with how the Tigers are playing. He said he believes Memphis is the most talented team in the country, but they haven’t put the pieces together.

“I’m a freshman, I don’t have the biggest role I’d say in terms of locker room conversations stuff like that,” Minott said. “I feel like I almost just knock the first domino over in terms of bringing us together we’ll continue to progress. Come together as a team. Might not be the biggest domino, but I feel like a small one. Just really bring us together. I feel like that’s what we need more than anything right now.”

After Hardaway said he’s not going to give veterans the benefit of the doubt anymore, he was asked if he thinks he’ll see players leave. He simply responded, “I’m not sure about that.”

On the Rebels side, Memphis native and former Whitehaven Tiger, Mathew Murrell said he’d been waiting for this game for a while. It showed as he finished with a career high 19 points. Murrell was recruited by Memphis coming out of high school.

“I’ve definitely been looking forward to it because I’m from Memphis,” Murrell said. “Grew up around those guys, playing against Penny. Last time Penny played against me. I was in high school and I got hurt. Happy to come out here and show them I’ve got talent.”

Ole Miss now on a three-game win streak. Hardaway said he saw a lot of positives with his team’s play. Down as many as 11 in the second half and made it a 2 point game with a minute to play.

Up next Memphis hosts Murray State, Friday at 7 p.m.

Ole Miss was up as many as 11 in the second half before Memphis cut the lead to 2 with under a minute to play. We’ll have more on the game tonight at 10.

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