With the Memphis Tigers in the news, reportedly joining the Big East in 2013, there's no better time to review the best players in Tigers basketball history.
The Tigers have a proud tradition, including 23 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Though the NCAA has vacated wins and accomplishments due to recruiting violations, what the team and players accomplished still happened—it's just not in the record books.
These Tigers players are the all-time best in terms of both individual and team success.
The late, great Larry Finch is almost synonymous with University of Memphis basketball. As a senior, Finch led the Tigers to their first Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four appearance—all during the 1972-73 season.
Finch scored 29 points in the 1973 championship game, but fell short to Bill Walton and coach John Wooden's UCLA Bruins.
Finch is the third all-time leading scorer in Tigers history with 1,869 points in 84 career games, having averaged 22.3 points per game.
Joey Dorsey was a Tiger for four years and a starter for three. Dorsey never averaged more than 10 points per game in a season, but that was not his game. Instead, Dorsey was the guy Memphis counted on to set the tone; he was a defensive enforcer.
The Tigers made three consecutive Elite Eight appearances from 2006 through 2008 with Dorsey as the starting center.
He ranks third in the Tigers' record books in blocks and is in the Top 10 for rebounds.
Keith Lee played all four years of his eligibility and was the first Tiger to earn AP All-American honors four times.
From 1981 to 1985, Lee led the Tigers to a 104-24 record. In all four seasons, the team made it to the NCAA Tournament, including a Final Four appearance in 1985.
Lee is one of only eight total players to have his number retired by the University of Memphis.
Elliot Perry was a three-time All-American for the Tigers from 1988 through 1990. Perry ran the point for what was then known as Memphis State University.
Perry became just the 10th player in NCAA history to compile 300 steals in his career.
The Memphis native is another of the eight to have his number retired.
CDR is another member of the 2008 Final Four squad who had a huge impact on the team.
The two-time All-American was considered one of the top prospects coming out of high school. Douglas-Roberts was the Tigers' best wing player and will be remembered for his statement dunk over UCLA's Kevin Love in the Final Four.
CDR's scoring average improved each year he was on the Tigers, and he ended his career with 1,545 total points.
Derrick Rose is the only one-and-done player on this list, but he left after his first season for good reason. It's unthinkable that his NBA MVP season last year with the Chicago Bulls could have potentially been his senior season with the Tigers.
That just wouldn't be fair to the kids he would have been schooling.
As a Tiger, Rose ran the point for the 2008 Final Four team, and his maturity as a freshman was unlike any other.
Penny Hardaway is known by most Memphis fans as the greatest player to wear the blue and grey. In only two seasons, Hardaway compiled a long and impressive list of accomplishments.
He was one of those guys who just seemed to have something special about him.
Penny led the Tigers to eight wins over nationally ranked teams, recorded the school's first-ever triple-double, became the 10th-leading all-time scorer and set numerous other records during only two seasons on the team.
He led Memphis to the Elite Eight in 1992, and his No. 25 was the seventh number ever retired by the University of Memphis.