MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Just how good do you think the Memphis Tigers basketball team will be this year?
The hiring of Penny Hardaway, and a resulting top 30 recruiting class has Tiger Nation giddy in anticipation of a great season.
But, don't tell that to at least one national pundit.
CBS Sports Jon Rothstein recently picked Memphis to finish 8th in the AAC this year.
Rothstein has UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, SMU, Temple, UConn, and Wichita State all ranked ahead of the Tigers, even though several of those teams lose key players from a year ago.
As for Hardaway, predictions are one thing. Production is another.
Hardaway said he believes in his players and their desire to put Memphis back on the national college basketball map.
"We talk about it everyday. We use everything for motivation, because Jeremiah [Martin]. who has been here for 3 years going into his 4th year, has never made the NCAA tournament," Hardaway said. "Of course the team last year didn't make it. That alone is enough, but to be picked 8th in the conference is more motivation."
While Rothsteiin predicts the Tigers 8th in the AAC, he also has three Tigers on his AAC Impact Freshman List: Alex Lomax, Tyler Harris and Antwan Jones. All are 4-star recruits.