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Sports News | Why Memphis’ Penny Hardaway Ended Up In The Media With A ‘Stop Asking Me Stupid Questions’ rant

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Memphis basketball head coach Penny Hardaway wasn’t in the mood Thursday night.

On the heels of a 70-62 loss to SMU, the Tigers head coach sat in front of reporters with a sour taste in his mouth.

“[It was] one of the worst games of the year,” Hardaway said. “I have to stay at the drawing board. Dude, keep fighting. That’s all I can do. That’s all I know.”

Memphis (9-8, 3-4 AAC) has now lost eight of its last 12 games.

Hardaway seemed to be pretty much done with his media availability after his opening remarks — then came the questions.

When asked if the Memphis native had lost faith in his ability to get the most out of the team, Hardaway came back… well, tough.

“This medium gets a little screwed up sometimes when it comes to me, (it’s) we don’t have our full roster,” he said, raising his hand in the air. “You all know that we don’t have our complete list. So stop asking me stupid, fucking questions to find out if I feel like I can do anything.

The Tigers have been riddled with injuries this season.

Memphis top scorer DeAndre Williams? Outside.

Their assistant leader Landers Nolley II? Outside.

Jayden Hardaway? Also released.

They recovered senior Alex Lomax from an ankle injury after five games which is a positive sign.

Sophomore guard Earl Timberlake, rookie Emoni Bates and rookie Jalen Duren have also all missed games in recent weeks.

Because of this, freshman Tadarius Jacobs has been on the floor the past two games playing significant minutes and fellow freshman Josh Minott started against SMU.

So why are the Tigers struggling and why did Hardaway speak to reporters on Thursday?

The injury virus.

Hardaway appears frustrated that members of the media aren’t putting together the team’s struggles and the team’s high amount of injuries.

“If I had my roster like (SMU), then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do,” Hardaway continued. “I train very hard. My boys play very hard. I’m not embarrassed for anything.”

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“We have four freshmen starting, you all have to act like that. Act like we have 17 and 18 year olds trying to learn how to play against 22, 23 and 24 year old guys. Come on man. Stop disrespecting me bro. Don’t do this. I work way too hard.

Memphis got off to a slow start, missing 11 of 12 shots in the opening minutes, and fell to the Mustangs 32-21 at halftime. Tyler Harris had seven of 12 field goal attempts, had the Tigers’ only three-point shot of the night and led Memphis with 17 points. The Tigers made one of 12 three-point attempts and couldn’t cut the deficit to less than seven points in the game.

The loss to the Mustangs marks the Tigers’ third straight loss and according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the team’s current record (9-8) is the worst 17-game record since the 2004-05 season.

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Despite the record, Hardaway’s is focused on his health.

“We’re hurt man. Our list is exhausted right now of guys who can definitely make a difference and help young people through this. Right now they have to learn on the fly. It’s tough.”

The Tigers are scheduled to travel to Tulsa, Okla. this weekend to face the Golden Hurricanes, who have not recorded a win since Dec. 16. Memphis will look to snap the team’s losing streak with a road win.

Why Memphis’ Penny Hardaway Ended Up In The Media With A ‘Stop Asking Me Stupid Questions’ rant

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