By LARRY VAUGHT
Memphis has the nation’s No. 1 college basketball recruiting class that includes James Wiseman, a player Kentucky coach John Calipari pursued for two years, and D.J. Jeffries, a former UK commit.
Memphis coach Penny Hardaway mentioned when he got the job just over a year ago that he would like to play Kentucky. That has not changed.
“I haven’t spoken to him (in about a month), but I’m definitely going to be talking to him about a home-and-home,” Hardaway told dailymemphian.com writer Jonah Jordan. “Or even a neutral site. We talked about a neutral site in Nashville before.”
It’s not just Kentucky that Hardaway wants to play. He’s insisted since he took the job that he would like to play a strong national schedule — and that was before he signed the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class.
“I’ll play anybody. That’s my thing. Even last year. I don’t want people thinking because we have the No. 1 recruiting class I’m going to be like ‘everyone play me.’ I always want to play the best. That’s what I always do while I’m here as head coach.”
He also revealed plans to take his team to the Bahamas Aug. 12-19 for a series of exhibition games much like Calipari has done twice at Kentucky.
“We’re going to introduce this group to the nation,” Hardaway said. “We’re taking the team to play four games in seven days and use it as vacation, and see where guys are. See where the chemistry is. I know it’s still early, but it would give us an opportunity in game form.”