Unless Penny is a coaching Prodigy, the dropoff of coaching tactics from Tubby Smith to Penny is going to be severe. One thing that will help Penny is the amount of good JUCO players that Tubby brought in and return for Memphis…if he uses them. If he decides his young freshmen are the future because he promised them playing time, well, it could spell disaster.
I think the funny thing that most prognosticators don’t see is that the Coogs have been 12-6, 12-6, and 14-4 over the last 3 seasons in a tough conference. Every year, they underestimate CKS and his teams and we’ve been close to the top in each of those seasons. I don’t see any change based off CKS’s history and what I’ve seen so far and I’d probably pick him over an untested head coach like Hardaway.
I think UCF is probably a good team to pick, but I wouldn’t bet against Cincy or Houston at this point. I’d also be very wary of UCONN…they have talent, just need a coach that can get the best out of them and Hurley may be that guy.