Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers Ready for Summer Workouts with Nearly Full Roster On Campus

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers Ready for Summer Workouts with Nearly Full Roster On Campus

The David Jones Decision Watch Is In Full Effect For Memphis Basketball

MEMPHIS, TN – In a dramatic shift from previous years, Memphis Tigers’ head coach Penny Hardaway is set to kick off summer workouts with a nearly complete roster. Sources have confirmed that all nine of the current scholarship players, including seven new additions from the transfer portal, arrived in Memphis over the weekend. The Tigers will officially begin their summer workouts on June 1.

portable ice maker for summer
AD: Addicting Ice At Any Moment. Click Above.

This marks a significant departure from Hardaway’s recent seasons, where roster assembly was plagued by delays. For the 2021-22 season, Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren didn’t sign until August 2021. Similarly, the 2022-23 squad struggled to field a full team until late August 2022, with only three players signed in the spring.

Last year’s starting PG Jahvon Quinerly and many others joined the Memphis team late. Image by JB Brookman, SENIORITY/Nashville Live

Last season was particularly chaotic, culminating in a disappointing miss of the NCAA Tournament. Key players like Jahvon Quinerly, Jaykwon Walton, and Jordan Brown only joined the team in late July, while leading scorer David Jones faced delays due to student visa issues, arriving in late September. Nae’Qwan Tomlin joined Memphis just as the non-conference schedule was wrapping up.

This year, however, things are looking up. The Tigers’ lead guards—PJ Haggerty, Colby Rogers, and Tyrese Hunter—are already on campus. The frontcourt, featuring returning big man Nick Jourdain, Dain Dainja, Tyreek Smith, and Moussa Cisse, is present and accounted for. Also joining the team are George Mason transfer guard Baraka Okojie and 4-star high school recruit Jared Harris.

Nick Jourdain is one of the Memphis Tiger’s returning stars. Image by: JB Brookman, SENIORITY/Nashville Live

A Glimpse at the New Additions:

  • PJ Haggerty (6-foot-3): Averaged 21.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for Tulsa last year, earning the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Freshman of the Year award.
  • Colby Rogers (6-foot-4): Scored 16.4 points per game, shooting 40.9% from 3-point range for Wichita State.
  • Tyrese Hunter (6-foot): Averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 assists for Texas in the 2023-24 season, previously awarded Big 12 Freshman of the Year at Iowa State in 2021-22.
  • Moussa Cisse (7-foot) and Tyreek Smith (6-foot-8): Combined for an impressive 3.1 blocks per game last season.
  • Nick Jourdain (6-foot-9): Started 25 of 32 games for Memphis, averaging 6.5 points and 4 rebounds.
  • Dain Dainja (6-foot-9): Contributed 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in limited minutes for Illinois, a team that made the Elite Eight last season.

Penny Hardaway has long emphasized the importance of assembling his rosters early, and it seems he’s finally achieved this goal for the 2024-25 season.

Is David Jones coming back to Memphis? Question of the moment. Image by: JB Brookman, SENIORITY/Nashville Live

The Missing Piece: David Jones Watch Is In Full-Effect

However, there’s one notable absence: David Jones, last season’s leading scorer and difference maker, is not on campus. The 6-foot-6 forward declared for the 2024 NBA Draft on April 20 and participated in the NBA Draft Combine earlier this month. With averages of 21.8 points (7th in Division I), 6.6 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game, Jones’ performance earned him numerous accolades, including being a finalist for the Julius Erving Award and an AP All-America Honorable Mention.

Jones has until Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. CT to withdraw from the draft and return to school. His decision will significantly impact the Tigers’ lineup for the upcoming season.

As Memphis gears up for summer workouts, fans and analysts alike will be closely watching to see if Jones decides to rejoin Hardaway’s revitalized and re-tooled squad. Whatever the outcome, this class has much more time to gel and practice together.

Stay tuned for more updates on Memphis Tigers basketball as the summer progresses.

admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *