MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Tigers will open play in the NIT Season Tip-Off with a showdown with Virginia Tech Wednesday, Nov. 24 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8:30 p.m. CT and air on ESPN2.
From there, the Tigers will face either Iowa State or Xavier on Friday, Nov. 26 at 6 or 8:30 p.m. CT.
Virginia Tech comes off an NCAA Tournament berth, its fourth-consecutive tournament appearance. Head coach Mike Young will lead a team ranked No. 16 in ESPN’s latest “Way-Too-Early Top 25” with its top-four scorers returning.
The Tigers won the 2021 NIT championship and finished the 2020-21 season with a 20-8 record. The 20-win season last year was Memphis’ fourth in a row, including all three seasons under head coach Penny Hardaway. The Tigers are one of just 14 schools in the nation with four-straight 20-win seasons to their credit.
Hardaway has won 63 games in three seasons as Tigers head coach, which is the third-most among 50 head coaches hired before the 2018-19 season.
The return to the New York City area is a homecoming for Hardaway and Tigers assistant coach Larry Brown. Hardaway played parts of three seasons with the New York Knicks and was coached by Brown for one of those.
The Tigers are slated to return three of their top-five scorers from a season ago in Landers Nolley II (13.1 ppg), DeAndre Williams (11.7 ppg) and Lester Quinones (9.5 ppg). Expected to join the trio and the rest of the returning players are newcomers John Camden (F, 6-8, Wolfeboro, N.H.), Chandler Lawson (F, 6-8, University of Oregon), Johnathan Lawson (F, 6-6, Memphis, Tenn.), Josh Minott (G, 6-9, Boca Raton, Fla.), Sam Onu (C, 6-11, Malvern, Pa.) and Earl Timberlake (G, 6-6, University of Miami).
The NIT Season Tip-Off has been played in New York City since 1985, and this fall marks the sixth year the tournament is held at Barclays Center. The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19, and in 2019 Oklahoma State was crowned champion.
For more information, visit www.NITSeasonTipOff.com.
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