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Tigers Basketball Insider: Could Memphis face a scholarship logjam for 2023-24?
Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway points from the sidelines during the first half against Houston in the finals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway points from the sidelines during the first half against Houston in the finals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Welcome to this week’s Tigers Basketball Insider. Below you’ll find the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Parth Upadhyaya, John Martin, Tim Buckley and Geoff Calkins.

When St. John’s transfer David Jones committed to Memphis on Monday, he filled the 12th scholarship roster spot for the Tigers’ 2023-24 team.

That left coach Penny Hardaway with just one of his 13 total scholarships available.


Though Jones is certainly a solid player — he was double-digit scorer in the Big East last season, after all — his addition to the Tigers was maybe a little confusing to some. Hardaway had just said hours prior Monday that he’d be saving a scholarship for DeAndre Williams as he seeks an avenue to gain an additional year of collegiate eligibility. Malcolm Dandridge is still contemplating a return, too.

So, now, Memphis has only one open scholarship with two players who could end up coming back.

Then, on Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reported that Dayton transfer Mike Sharavjamts has included the Tigers among his final three schools and intends to plan visits soon. Sharavjamts would obviously fill the team’s final open scholarship if he were to commit.

All of this begs the question: What will Hardaway do if both Williams and Dandridge are able to/decide to come back and incoming freshman Mikey Williams is legally cleared to play?

When I asked Hardaway Monday after he’d finished his first round of golf at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s annual golf tournament at TPC Southwind, he said that the program had some “strategic” things it would work on that he couldn’t speak on yet.


Could this mean Hardaway might take one of his sons — fifth-year senior Jayden Hardaway or incoming freshman Ashton Hardaway — off scholarship and just pay their way himself instead? Or could he part ways with yet another commit to create roster space? (He seemed to have done just that with 2023 commits David Tubek and Ryan Forrest.) All of that is pure speculation at this point.

It is funny in a way, though, that the Tigers quickly went from not having enough players this offseason to now perhaps having too many.

But I suppose that’s just another twist in what’s already been a highly chaotic summer for Memphis basketball.

Anyway, here’s what the Tigers’ 2023-24 roster currently looks like:

Guards: Mikey Williams (incoming freshman), Caleb Mills (Florida State transfer), Jayhlon Young (UCF transfer)

Wings: David Jones (St. John’s transfer), Teafale Lenard Jr. (MTSU transfer), Jonathan Pierre (Division II Nova Southeastern transfer), Jayden Hardaway (returnee), JJ Taylor (incoming freshman), Ashton Hardaway (incoming freshman), Carl Cherenfant (incoming freshman) 

Bigs: Chandler Lawson (returnee), Nick Jourdain (Temple transfer)

More from your Insider:

Penny Hardaway not in ‘panic mode’ despite uncertainty this offseason

Between DeAndre Williams’ recent eligibility battle with the NCAA, Mikey Williams’ ongoing legal situation, Malcolm Dandridge’s potential return and NIL concerns, it’s been a turbulent offseason for the Tigers.

St. John’s transfer forward David Jones commits to Memphis

Jones averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Red Storm this past season.

Sources: Ryan Forrest not expected to be a part of Memphis’ 2023-24 team

Guard from Link Academy in Missouri never did sign with the program, a Tigers athletic department spokesman said.

The five best matchups on Memphis’ 2023-24 non-conference slate

Memphis basketball’s 2023-24 non-conference schedule features several exciting matchups.

Memphis signee Mikey Williams loses endorsement deal with sports tech company

Mikey Williams, who On3 once estimated to have an NIL value of $2.6 million, has lost his first sponsorship deal.

Buckley: C’mon, NCAA. Do the right thing. Let DeAndre Williams stay.

If DeAndre Williams has his way, the Memphis Tigers may be able to keep their 6-foot-9 all-conference forward.

DeAndre Williams seeks avenue for return to Memphis

The Tigers big man, who previously thought his college career was done, looks to gain an additional year of NCAA eligibility.

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