[Source] - After dropping a game against Georgia last Saturday, the Tigers fell from No. 9 to No. 21 in the latest poll.
“I’m surprised, but not surprised,” Hardaway said on his radio show Monday night. “They’ve been disrespecting us all year. We worked our way up from No. 16 (in the preseason), we were supposed to be ranked higher than that from the beginning. We worked our way all the way up to nine, and it was like it didn’t matter who we lost to, they were waiting to drop us. So we just have to go back out and keep earning our respect, that’s fine with us.”
I have to admit I don't dislike Penny. I love that he's brash. I love that he fucking hates Tennessee and gets into it with Rick Barnes. But, this? The whole disrespect angle that he's been playing is tiring. Dude, Memphis hasn't done shit to be ranked that high right now. He started this in the preseason
Memphis was ranked in the top-15 in the preseason! The same team who didn't make the NCAA Tournament last season and was relying on a good (yeah, I know they were No. 1) but not amazing recruiting class. James Wiseman was a stud (he's gone), but the majority of their class was made up of 4/borderline 5-star guys that are made to be at Memphis for more than one season. So yeah No. 14 was fair in the preseason.
Since then? Memphis is 12-2, most recently with a home loss to Georgia by 3. They rank 39th in KenPom. They rank 25th in the NET. They rank 33rd in Torvik Rankings. They rank 31st in Haslametrics. I give all that to prove that if anything Memphis is being more than respected by the AP vs computer rankings. Again, they have 0, maybe a .5 of a quality win, depending what you think of NC State (who just lost to a bad Clemson team). All of this just shows that we need a coach to come out and be bluntly honest. Say something like 'yeah, I think you and the public have us pretty much spot on!'
Here's the thing. Memphis might end up better than the 21st best team in the country. It's a bunch of young, talented dudes and I actually think Penny is a better coach than he'll ever get credit for. But as of now, January 8, 2020? They haven't done shit to prove they are better than 21 teams.
Imagine losing to Georgia? Couldn't come close to imagining what that would be like.