MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Penny Hardaway coaching era at the University of Memphis tipped off Tuesday night at FedExForum and freshman David Wingett made his debut.
David Wingett sat out last game after taking an elbow to the head during practice. He was in concussion protocol and which forced him to miss time according to Hardaway.
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Wingett first basket came off a steal and breakaway dunk. He struggled to shoot the ball, connecting on 1-5 attempts while shooting 0-4 from dowtown in 11 minutes of action. Hardaway, a former Tigers’ All-American and NBA All-Star, was presented the game ball – autographed in the locker room by the players – after the victory.
Hardaway carried the ball with him at his post-game interviews and said he would find a spot in his office for it.
“This win feels good because Tennessee Tech really made us work,” Hardaway said. “I’m definitely thankful for the win.”
The team’s freshmen combined to shoot 5 of 24.
“Our seniors stabilized us,” Hardaway said. “Our freshman were being freshman tonight.
“We turned the ball over 26 times and that is what we have to do now to win.”
The Tigers shot 45 percent in the first half and forced 15 Tennessee Tech turnovers. Memphis built 18-point cushions on several occasions in the half.
The Tigers play next at nationally ranked LSU Tuesday in Baton Rouge.