Fans cheer on Tigers at Memphis Madness

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 'Memphis Madness' made its way to the FedEx forum once again.

Fans erupted in cheers as they gave they gave new coach Penny Hardaway a fiery welcome.

"We were going to skip class and then everyone graciously cancelled for us, because they knew this was happening," Tiger fan and University of Memphis student Crawford Wilson said.

'Memphis Madness' is the first look at this year's team, but it's not all about basketball. Entertainers show up too.

"We got $10 tickets to see Drake. If not, we got Justin Timberlake and Memphis rappers," Tiger fan Braden Rawson said.

Drake didn't make an appearance, but Memphis natives like Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo and Bloc BocBoy JB did. And earlier in the day, a party was going on outside as fans waited to enter.

"It just goes up from here. The hype just goes way up from here," a fan said.

"I didn't come the last couple of years, because there wasn't much interest, but there's a lot of interest today," U of M alumni Ron Pennington said. "It brings everyone together. There's a lot of pride. You know, people are arguing about politics or anything. They all come together."

Fans say it's the type of crowd and unity that only Coach Hardaway could bring out.

"I love Penny Hardaway. I didn't play basketball for him, but I'm team 'Penny," Tiger fan Caleb Jones said. "I'm just glad to see Memphis basketball back to what it's supposed to be. What it's meant to be."

For them it represents the start of a new chapter for Tiger basketball.

"He's a hometown hero. I mean, who can't get behind Penny and his story and what he wants to do with the program?" student Drew Butler said.

Fans are pulled toward being a part of the beginning of something many believe is bound to bring greatness for the team. And they're sticking around to see just how bright the future looks for their Tiger team.

"I am excited to see two of the freshman, Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax. They're both city kids," a fan said.