Penny Hardaway calls Tennessee's Rick Barnes 'Low Class'

Penny Hardaway
Head coach Penny Hardaway of the Memphis Tigers reacts against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the HoopHall Miami Invitational at American Airlines Arena on December 1, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Tennessee-Memphis rivalry is getting very interesting.

Days after the Vols' 102-92 victory over the Tigers, Memphis coach Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway took shots at Tennessee coach Rick Barnes during his news conference on Tuesday, which concluded with him saying "Rick Barnes, get the f*** out of here," according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

A scuffle took place between Tennessee guard Jordan Bone and Memphis guard Alex Lomax, which resulted in technical fouls for both players. After the game, Hardaway claimed that several Vols players game over to the Tigers' bench during the incident "with their fists balled, talking trash to our guys" and added that Bone "said something to [Lomax] disrespectfully."

Barnes joked about Hardaway's claim during a radio show on Monday night, asking Tennessee play-by-play man Bob Kesling: "At any time Saturday did you ball your fist up and get ready to fight the other commentator?"

Meanwhile, Bone accused Memphis players flopped during the game, which he said the Tennessee team expected to happen.

"We knew they were going to come out and flop, and that's what they did," he said Tuesday, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Hardaway said that he took issue with Barnes' comments, claiming that they were "low class."

"If you just watch the film, I'm not making anything up," Hardaway said on Tuesday. "I don't know who Rick Barnes thinks I am, but I'm not a dude that likes to just mess around about anything. I just call it like I see it. No matter how he's trying to make things seem, and I think it's kind of low class how he's trying to downgrade my guys for flopping and all that. Man, come on, give me a break."

Hardaway, a former University of Memphis standout, took over as the Tigers' head coach last spring and has already put together the No. 13 overall class for the 2019 national recruiting cycle, which includes a commitment from No. 1 overall prospect James Wiseman, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

The former NBA All-Star star said Barnes' comments have added to the rivalry between the two schools from the Volunteer State.

"I think it's more something on the page of maybe the recruiting that we have to do in the state. Maybe he's trying to get an upper hand on me or whatever," Hardaway said. "I have no complaints about anything else. I just called it like I saw it and the comments that he made about my team when it came to the flopping and all that -- that's low class. I would never do that to another team.

"He can do whatever he wants to do, but we'll see each other out on the road somewhere or in another game."

Tennessee currently ranks as the No. 3 in the AP Poll with an 8-1 record. The Vols will host Samford on Wednesday night. Memphis has a 5-5 record and will host Little Rock on Wednesday.