Recently first-year Memphis coach Penny Hardaway publicly stated that he would like to get Georgetown on the Tigers schedule as soon as next season.
Penny Hardaway said he spoke with AD Tom Bowen this morning and they are on the same page about scheduling Georgetown.— Drew Hill (@DrewHill_CA) February 19, 2019
NEW: Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said he is working on scheduling Georgetown next season on the pregame radio show with Wolo.https://t.co/ZVRm1aQR51— Drew Hill (@DrewHill_CA) January 19, 2019
It makes sense on a bunch of different levels as both programs have turned to the past to get their respective programs back to the highest levels of the sport.
Georgetown last made the NCAA Tournament in 2015 while Memphis last punched its ticket to the Big Dance two coaches ago in 2014.
There are many parallels between the two programs as both are coached by former NBA standouts with the Tigers (16-11, 8-6 American) - just like the Hoyas - playing their home games in a pro arena (FedEx Forum).
Here’s what Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing had to say on Thursday about possibly playing Memphis in the future.
“Penny and I are pretty good friends,” Ewing said on the BIG EAST coaches teleconference. “Got to know him when we were in the league together.”
“Scheduling....I’m not thinking about scheduling right now. My main concern is focusing on Creighton and trying to better our position in the Big East tournament. They have called and we’ve had discussions and we’re not sure what we’re going to do yet.”
Well, there you have it. That was basically the answer I thought we’d get.
Obviously Penny feels the need to talk about this possibility much more than his counterpart at Georgetown. While the Hoyas are in the better league, it would still be a good game for both programs.
Georgetown leads the all-time series with Memphis 10-2 with the last games coming during the 2011-12 season. Former coaches John Thompson III and John Calipari signed a four-year deal where Memphis took the first game at home with Georgetown winning the final three plus the 5th place game in the 2011 Maui Invitational.
In terms of next season’s non-conference opponents the Hoyas owe SMU a visit, there’s a possible Big XII game, a possible Gavitt game against a Big Ten opponent, 2019 2K Empire Classic at MSG with Duke, Texas and Cal.
Sadly there is no update on the Syracuse series continuing as of yet.
Memphis currently ranks one spot below the Hoyas in KenPom at 78 and is ten spots better in the NET Rankings at 61.
Hardaway is currently bringing in a three-man class for next season including one of the nation’s best recruits in 7-foot center James Wiseman.
This seems like it would be a good idea for everyone involved.