BROOKLYN — It is the game within the game tonight as the Tigers get set for their biggest test of the season, taking on an unbeaten Virginia Tech team at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
It is a team the Tigers’ Landers Nolley is very familiar with.
Nolley led the Hokies in scoring at over 15 points a game during his redshirt freshman season in Blacksburg when he started 29 of his 32 games, good enough to be named to the All-ACC freshman team.
That was before transferring to Memphis and leading the Tigers in scoring last season on their way to an NIT Tournament title.
Tonight, things come full circle for Nolley, taking on his former team in a battle of unbeatens.
“Yeah, I was actually shocked. How often does a kid transfer and get to play against his old school?” Nolley said. “It was a lot of emotions at first but, at the end of the day, we just have to get a dub (win).”
“Anybody that understands, if you’re going back to play against an old team, you want to do well. You really want to win, for sure but you want to do well,” said Tigers coach Penny Hardaway. “We’re smart enough to understand that he has to be a big part of what we do in that game. Not just because we’re playing Virginia Tech but, moving forward. We have to use his experience as a scorer and as a shooter.”