Tubby Smith out at Memphis; Penny Hardaway emerges as candidate

With Tubby Smith out Memphis fans will get what they asked for

With Tubby Smith out Memphis fans will get what they asked for

After meeting with Memphis University officials Wednesday, men's basketball coach Tubby Smith has been fired, according to a number of media reports.

Tubby Smith is no longer the coach at Memphis after two seasons, including a 21-win campaign this year. And that's the problem. The announcement comes after Smith was reportedly set to meet with Memphis administration regarding his status with the team.

Per Giannotto, it will cost Memphis $9.75 million to fire Smith.

While no replacement coach has been announced, a reunion with former U of M star Penny Hardaway may be in the books. With an ultra-talented crop of recruits in the area on the horizon - a lot of them with connections to Hardaway through his AAU program or high school coaching - it isn't a shock that the school wanted to shake things up. Forward James Wiseman, the No. 2 prospect in 2019 nationally, plays for Hardaway on both teams.

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Smith won a national championship in his first season at Kentucky in the 1997-98 season, but he never reached the Final Four in his next nine seasons. Smith said via Twitter that "I appreciate the opportunity to to have led the University of Memphis basketball program for the last two years" and that he's proud of the work he and his staff did. Memphis is the first of six career stops on Smith's head-coaching resume where he failed to take a team to the NCAA tournament. He previously coached at Texas Tech, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia and Tulsa.

His son, Saul, had been one of three assistant coaches on staff at Memphis.

Memphis' biggest win this season came February 22 with a 91-85 upset of No. 23 Houston, only the second such win by the Tigers under Smith.

Smith has been a Division-I head coach since 1991, making 18 NCAA Tournament appearances - including 14 straight from 1994 to 2007.

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