The title of recruiting king has been largely between Coach K and John Calipari for the past decade, but now a new coach has inserted himself into the conversation.
Penny Hardaway, coach of the Memphis Tigers, has made things much more interesting. After securing the No. 1 recruit in James Wiseman for next season, he went on to top the recruiting rankings overall for the 2019 class.
Penny has come into the league and made it clear that he is ready to compete right away with the top coaches for top-tier recruits.
Jeff Goodman recently ran a poll that had some surprising results when it comes to which of these three coaches should be feared the most on the recruiting trail.
Who would you be most scared to recruit against right now (and no, there wasn’t room for Rick Stansbury)?— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 24, 2019
To see Penny get more votes than both John Calipari and Coach K is a tad ridiculous to me. Personally, I believe it has a lot to do with recency bias, seeing as Penny did just nail down the top recruiting class in the country.
However, it can’t go unnoticed and there is something to be said for Penny’s immediate impact.
As for Calipari getting so little votes, that’s a big shocker to me as well. Kentucky hasn’t finished worse than 3rd in Calipari’s entire tenure at UK, while also just securing the 2nd spot for the 2019 class ahead of Duke.
This season will be the biggest test for Penny. If he’s able to win with this talented team, we will more than likely continue to see his recruiting success rise.