Memphis Tigers men’s basketball
The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team represents the University of Memphis in NCAA Division I men’s college basketball. The Tigers have competed at the American Athletic Conference since 2013. As of 2011, the Tigers had the highest winning percentage in NCAA history. They play home games at the FedExForum. ESPN Stats and Information Department ranked Memphis as the 19th most successful basketball program from 1962 to 2012 within their yearly 50 in 50 list.
On April 7, 2009, Josh Pastner was named the head coach of the team. Pastner was hired as an assistant at Memphis in 2008 after serving as an assistant coach under Lute Olson at Arizona for six decades. Pastner gained a reputation as a recruiter during his tenure at Arizona. In his first year as coach at Memphis, Pastner brought in Elliot Williams, a transfer from Duke, who headed the team in scoring and was drafted to the NBA. Williams was allowed to play with his first time after leaving Calipari took with him Memphis’ top-ranked recruiting class. In 2011 Pastner led the Tigers back to the NCAA championship for the first time in his coaching career, though they lost in the first round to his former team, Arizona.
Throughout the 2011–12 year, the Tigers announced they were leaving Conference USA to join the Big East Conference beginning in 2013 (later renamed the American Athletic Conference). They started the season powerful, moving as large to No. 13 in the country before falling out of the ranks (a phenomenon which would eventually become a recurrent theme of the Pastner age ). In the last game of this season, Josh Pastner’s success over Tulsa gave him 72 career successes, the most by a Memphis head coach over his first few seasons. Memphis made its second straight NCAA Tournament after winning the Conference USA championship. An 8-seed, the Tigers dropped in the first round to 9-seeded Saint Louis. For the NBA, sophomore star Will Barton left after the season.
In 2012–13, the Tigers, led by CUSA player of the year Joe Jackson, won the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles in their final season in CUSA.  The Tigers started competition from the then newly formed American Athletic Conference in 2013. AAC contest was not as kind to the Pastner-led Tigers, as they earned an NCAA tournament berth in just 1 of the team’s first 3 seasons at the AAC.
On April 8, 2016, facing mounting criticism in Memphis, Pastner chose the task of head men’s basketball coach at Georgia Tech.  A couple of days after, the Tigers hired Tubby Smith to take over the head coaching job.  Smith had just won the Big 12 coach of the year award in addition to some national coaching awards for his year at Texas Tech.
Smith was fired on March 14, 2018, after failing to reach the NCAA Tournament in both of his two decades as head trainer. Penny Hardaway was afterwards verified as Smith’s replacement
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