Memphis defeats Christian Brothers in exhibition opener, but Hardaway not happy with team’s effort

Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two teams from the 901 got their college basketball seasons underway at FedExForum on Sunday afternoon, as Memphis defeated Division II Christian Brothers 69-60.

Kendric Davis, the SMU transfer and defending American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, had a great debut in a Tiger uniform. Davis put up 22 points on 5-12 shooting and had 6 assists.

Christian Brothers came out of the gates hot, taking an early 12-3 lead.

The Tigers eventually took the lead before halftime and never gave it up.

However, head coach Penny Hardaway was less than impressed with his team’s performance.

“This game was definitely a blessing for me,” Hardaway said. “You know when you see your team kinda being complacent and looking at teams and disrespecting, and then get outplayed. I felt like Christian Brothers really outplayed us today by just playing hard, playing with energy, moving the ball, and playing the right way.

“It’s a tape that I felt like I definitely needed to prove to them that what we say to them in practice is real... and that when you get to the games, it’s gonna show, and it showed today. So, if the guys in that locker room got the pride that I think that they have, they’ll start taking everything seriously.”

Hardaway was adamant that the sub-par effort in his mind had nothing to do with this group playing together for the first time.

“I think that they didn’t pay the proper respect,” he said. “I think that they thought they were going to get out there and just walk over Christian Brothers, and that’s just not how it works. They play hard, and they made us play harder. You know they forced us to play harder, and we’ve got to come out and throw the first punch.”

The Tigers will hit the floor again next Sunday at the FedExForum in another exhibition against Lane College.

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