Two proud college programs hoping to rebound will tee it up in Brooklyn on Thanksgiving Day.
Arkansas (2-1) and Georgia Tech (3-1) will meet Thursday afternoon on ESPNU at 1 p.m. CST inside the Barclays Center to open up the NIT Preseason Tip-off semifinals.
"It's the first time that a lot of people will get to see them (the Razorbacks) play so I am sure they want to put on a good show," Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. "I'm sure they are ready to play and found out more about themselves. They are watching teams play on TV every day so why not them?"
Georgia Tech won its first three games - including a 69-67 home win over Tennessee - before falling to visiting East Tennessee State 69-68 Sunday on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
"Our guys are ready to go and have a chance to play against an outstanding Georgia Tech team," Anderson said. "It is a team averaging almost 90 points per game.
"When I look at them on paper, they are an older team, have two graduate students in the (former UALR player James) White kid and the (former Virginia Tech leading scroer Adam) Smith kid, who is the second leading scorer, and I think White is getting like nine rebounds per game. That's what that team does, it really rebounds the basketballand has a lot of size."
Former Maryland player Charles Mitchell (6-8, 256) is avearaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while 6-5 guard Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.8) ss the team's leading scorer whike former Alabama player Nick Jacobs, who redshirted last season is averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds.
"It is a team that is averaging a lot of points and I think their strength is probably their depth," Anderson sasid. "They have a lot of players that come off that bench and really add a lot of productivity."
It will be the first game away from Fayetteville this season for the Razorbacks.
"We have had three games here and now it is time to go out from the friendly confines of Bud Walton Arena and play against a very good basketball team, an ACC team," Anderson said. "We are answering questions as we go, but I think our guys will try to go out and do the things we do in practice each every day. That is defend, try to create tempo, share the basketball, play to win and try to get better.
Arkansas has sandwiched wins over Southern and Charelston Southern around an 88-80 loss to Akron.
""We got exposed in the Akron game," Anderson said. "We played in spurts. We have got to be more than just a team that does it in spurts. We have got to do it for a full 40 minutes.So that means the guys can not be out there playing tired."
The Razorbacks will also have a game on Friday against either Villanova or Stanford. They'll play at 2 p.m. on ESPN2 if they win or at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU if they lose.
"The most important game is always the first game," Anderson said. "You can't get to the championship game until you get through the first game. Going there in there, we are going with the mindset that we have to win this game here and from hopefully then we will have enough depth that we will be able play the next game."