MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you haven’t been paying attention to the Tigers this off season, Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Madness entrance said it all. This team wants all the smoke.
"I did not come up with that but I thought it was dope," said Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway.
"Honestly all that means to us is, we are not afraid to play anybody. It is what it is. We are not intimidated and we are not afraid to play anybody. If that offends people than it's crazy cause we are supposed to be confident in who we are and we are in this to win," said Hardaway.
Coming into this season with the number one ranked freshman class in the country. The U of M isn’t shying away from National Championship talk, in fact, they are sprinting towards it.
"I want these kids to have an experience to play against all the top teams they can play against and hopefully on top of that win a National Championship and I don't think there is anything wrong with that," said Hardaway.
"When I see him make those statements, I'll just be on my phone and I'll get a notification that says coach Penny Hardaway said this and I am like 'woah'. That sounds like something I would say. For me the surprise is my coach is just like me because I am very confident with myself and my skill set. I feel he is very confident in the type of team he has and believes in his players and what we can accomplish as a team," said Precious Achiuwa.
Competing with confidence. A swagger this team is rocking from it’s players to it’s coaches.
"I am very competitive, I know coach is the same way, and James is the same way. I love to win. Going into the season, what I am looking forward to is putting ourselves in positions to win every competition that is in front of us," said Achiuwa.
"We just compete on the court, especially in practice, the intensity is high. Really high. So we are just trying to get our chemistry up," said James Wiseman.
"I just don't understand how everybody that has the opportunity with the talent that they have doesn't feel that way. I think all in all teams have the talent that we have and we have some special talent, you feel more confident and you know, with the staff that we have and as quick as they can gel as a unit we have an opportunity to do so. And those kids feel the same way," said Hardaway.