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Memphis legend Finch battling pneumonia

Nearly eight months after Dana Kirk died of a heart attack, another Memphis coaching icon is coping with health woes of his own.

Larry Finch - perhaps the most beloved figure in the program’s history - was admitted to a Memphis hospital Monday for pneumonia, Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported.

“He’s a little bit better today than he was yesterday. He was responding (today) to me and Randy Wade real good. I told him, ‘You’ve got practice Oct. 15 (at Memphis Madness).’ I said, ‘You gotta be there,’ and he shook his head and nodded at me,” Finch’s longtime friend, Leonard Draper told Wolken.

Finch, 59, has been in poor health since suffering the first of many strokes in 2001. He’s spent the last several years living in a full-time nursing facility.

As a player, Finch led the Tigers to the 1973 national championship game. He later coached Memphis from 1986-87 and is the school’s all-time wins leader with 220 victories.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.