AAC releases Tigers basketball conference schedule

In this June 8, 2018 photo, Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway poses in the school’s basketball offices in Memphis, Tenn. Hardaway knows exactly what Memphis fans demand from the Tigers in men’s basketball, and the first-time college coach says he feels born to coach this team right now. The charismatic former NBA star with his own shoe already has revived interest in his alma mater. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

MEMPHIS – The American Athletic Conference released the 2018-19 men’s basketball league schedule Thursday and the University of Memphis, under first-year coach Penny Hardaway, will play single games against four opponents – UConn, SMU, Houston and USF – and home-and-away games with the seven other league schools.

The Tigers will play home games only against UConn and SMU, while playing only road games at Houston and USF. Memphis was 5-1 against those four schools last season.

The UofM beat UConn twice last season and SMU in Dallas, the only game against the Mustangs during 2017-18. In the team’s only meeting against Houston, the Tigers upset the No. 23 Cougars at FedExForum in late February and they split their two regular-season games against USF.

Memphis will play home-and-away games against UCF, Cincinnati, ECU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State. The Tigers will be playing at Wichita State for the first time since the Shockers became American Athletic Conference members during the 2017-18 season.

The dates for the conference schedule will be announced later.

Cincinnati finished 16-2 in conference play last season, followed by Wichita State and Houston at 14-4. Memphis finished fifth at 10-8.

Overall, the Tigers finished 21-13 last season and reached the semifinals of the AAC Championships held at the Amway Center in Orlando. The 2019 AAC Championships will be played at FedExForum.

Memphis returns guard Jeremiah Martin, the league’s second-leading scorer at 18.9 points per game, and two other starters: 6-8 forwards Kyvon Davenport and Mike Parks.

Under Hardaway, the Tigers signed one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, a group that includes highly regarded Memphis-area guards Alex Lomax and Tyler Harris. Lomax, listed as a four-star recruit by ESPN, helped direct East High to three straight TSSAA Class AAA state championships. Harris finished his career as the leading scorer in Cordova High history and averaged 30.3 points per game as a senior to lead the city.