Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers will play Division II Bluefield College from Virginia at 7 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
Tolbert, a 6-4 senior, can play both guard spots and will likely see action at forward early in the season with Quan Prowell serving a six-game suspension. The Tigers won't have another forward, Josh Dollard, until the 2008-2009 season. Another Tiger, senior guard Archie Miaway, is academically ineligible until fall semester classes have finished.
Lebo says that Tolbert, who averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds as a junior, is a versatile player who knows the assignments at all five positions. "Frank has worked hard and we are expecting him to have his best season," the coach says.
Tolbert has these comments on what he has seen from his teammates in preseason drills:
Junior guard Quantez Robertson: "He moved over to the two spot and he is doing very well. He has stepped up his defense and he is shooting the ball better. You can really tell he has been in the gym in the offseason."
Quantez Robertson is a stabilizing force for the Tigers who can play both guard positions.
Junior forward Quan Prowell: "His shooting has really improved since last year. He and Rasheem (Barrett) had a chance to go over to China and play on a tour there and I think that really helped Quan."
Junior guard/forward Rasheem Barrett: "I think he improved a lot over the summer. He has become the freshman again. He is back to his old ways. Rasheem is playing good defense."
Junior forward Korvotney Barber: "Vot is running the floor, being explosive like he has always been."
Sophomore Guard DeWayne Reed: "He is coming back from his injury. He is probably not 100 percent yet, but he is 95 percent and that is good."
Sophomore guard/forward Lucas Hargrove: "Lucas is coming along. When we were down in Cancun he was making big plays. His shot is improving a lot. He just needs to relax and calm down. When he gets mad he loses it a bit. We need him to stay calm and play under control."
Sophomore forward Matt Heramb: "He is starting to come along a little bit. He had surgery--he had his tonsils taken out so he is starting to get back in the groove."
Freshman center Boubacar Sylla: "He is a seven-footer. He is long with a big body. He is going to be inside altering shots for us and rebounding, which is something we need. What surprised me is that he can run the floor a little bit as big as he is. He has a nice little 15-foot jumper. I just like his all-around game. He is still a raw talent, but once the coaches get to moulding him he is going to be good."
Archie Miaway: "He has been sidelined with tendonitis in his knee. He is a tough competitor. He can shoot the ball and he will come out and give us all we have got."