Despite his short tenure, Penny Hardaway has already made a major impact on the college basketball recruiting world.
Not only has he managed to steer several top prospects away from the traditional blue-blood powerhouses but he has also maintained a strong local pipeline.
Hardaway has already signed six Memphis area players in his first two recruiting classes, one of those being James Wiseman, who will join next year’s roster.
Matthew Murrell is a 2020 four-star shooting guard from Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Matthew Bain of the Des Moines Register, Kentucky could be jumping into the mix after watching him in recent AAU events.
He played well over the weekend and has picked up offers from Alabama, Vanderbilt and St. John’s this week. Kentucky head coach John Calipari was on hand for one of Murrell’s games, too, and there’s talk the Wildcats could eventually get involved.
Despite what many think, his high school coach made a clear statement that his star player’s recruitment is far from over.
“His recruitment is wide open. I cannot stress that enough, Memphis has no lock. Nobody has a lock. Because the perception is Memphis has a lock on all kids in Memphis, and that’s not the case.” Whitehaven coach Faragi Phillips told the des Moines Register.
The way that things have went over the last several months, it’s somewhat difficult to believe that a local recruit would pass on Penny Hardaway and Memphis. But as the Tigers continue to stack up commitments it could create a road-block and possibly direct scoring guards to pursue other places to play.
Iowa State is another potential landing spot for Murrell who is a 6-4 combo guard and ranked as the second best player in the state of Tennessee. After a great start on the Nike EYBL Circuit, there have been numerous other schools getting involved.
This recruitment will be interesting to follow for various reasons.
35 KYSports shot the video below of Murrell playing for Team Thad.