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"Memphis legend Penny Hardaway is 'actively preparing to be a college coach' and has already started identifying possible future staff members, multiple sources have told CBS Sports," wrote Parrish on Tuesday, two days before the Tigers are scheduled to play South Florida in the AAC Tournament.
Smith is finishing his second season as head coach after he quit — Tubby, you quit, you hypocrite — the Texas Tech job, and though he has won 19 games each season, the Tigers have been gutted by transfers and haven't come close to sniffing the NCAA Tournament.
If Memphis does replace him with Hardaway, a former Memphis player who runs the Team Penny Nike EYBL program and is the head coach of East High School in Memphis, where might the 66-year-old Smith land?
Current Head Coach: Bobby Collins
Tubby Smith was born and raised in Maryland and began his coaching career at Great Mills High School, a small town 70 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.
He left the state in 1977 and hasn't coached there since. Though Maryland-Eastern Shore — whose head coach Bobby Collins has won 49 games in four seasons — is more than three hours from his hometown, might Smith want to finally return to Maryland for the tail end of his career?
Current Head Coach: G.G. Smith
Same reasoning as Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Tubby has given no indication he wishes to take a monumental step down from the bigger programs he's coached for the last 23 years, but he may have no choice. He could opt for a team like Loyola, who not long ago was a top-tier MAAC team before jumping to the Patriot League .
Current Head Coach: Dave Leitao
Dave Leitao's second run at DePaul isn't going as well as his first run, one that included two 20-win seasons and earned him the Virginia job.
The 57-year-old is just 81-95 in three seasons with Big East finishes of ninth, 10th and 10th (nine total conference wins). Smith knows the midwest and though the Blue Demons may opt to roll the dice on a young up-and-comer, a veteran also makes sense if they wish to stabilize the program before aiming for a long-term replacement.
Current Head Coach: Vacant
East Carolina eighth-year head coach Jeff Lebo resigned abruptly in November and interim coach Michael Perry has done an admirable job in a tough spot, but it seems likely the Pirates get fresh blood in the program.
Might they look to a former AAC coach in Smith who has recruited the area extensively during his long career?
Current Head Coach: Vacant
Pepperdine has been nearly irrelevant in the WCC for the last 15 years and fired seventh-year head coach Marty Wilson in February. The Waves haven't won 20 games in a season since 2001-02, also the last year they made the NCAA Tournament.
Smith hasn't coached west of Tulsa but why not? Why not finish your career in Malibu in a low-pressure environment where you'd be a legend if you turned around the Pepperdine program?