It’s Either Georgia or Virginia Tech for Landers Nolley II

Landers Nolley II is in Athens today and tomorrow, his decision is imminent.

It is a tough race to handicap for Landers Nolley II, who would inarguably be the best shooter Mark Fox would ever bring to Athens.  Nolley will choose been Virginia Tech and Georgia after cutting the state flagship of his home state, Illinois.  Nolley would immediately compete for minutes at Shooting Guard for UGA, if he decides that his future is in the Classic City and he commits to playing defense.

Landers Nolley II has been referenced before and he is a dynamic offensive talent with size for his position.  He’s 6’7″ 210 pounds and his defense is a work in progress, but his ability to stretch defenses out and make offensive plays puts him among the best in the Class of 2018.

Nolley played on the Nike EYBL circuit for the Nike South Beach squad.  For those who think that 45% from three point range in his Junior Year of High School at Langston Hughes is not a big deal, he went 50% from three point range against some of the best in the country this Summer.

Elite shooting aside, he attacks the rim well and does not mind contact at all.  The thing to keep in mind is that his defensive capabilities are not elite and he will lose focus defensively when the action on the floor is hot.  He appears to forget where he is and gets lost in the moment, which leads to blown man-to-man and zone assignments.  This is a maturity and experience matter, he’s now a Senior in High School, keep that in mind.  Defensively, he wants to improve, but he needs the right coaches to get him to where he can be.

As long as Nolley’s feet are set and he’s behind the three point arc, he’s the most dangerous offensive player on the floor.  Nolley is great off the drive-and-kick, off the pass from the post or a long rebound.  His fluid shooting motion looks effortless.

Georgia or Virginia Tech?

It’s a good question to ask and it is still a tough one to gauge.  Georgia offered Landers Nolley II a scholarship seven months before Virginia Tech.

At Virginia Tech… 

Nolley appears to be recruited as a 2 or a 3, he would probably play both if he chose to be a Hokie.  There is a bit of competition for Nolley coming out of the gate as far as playing time is concerned.  Khadim Sy’s recent transfer hurts Virginia Tech’s depth in the frontcourt and the backcourt generally speaking appears crowded for Buzz Williams.

Freshmen get opportunities to play at Virginia Tech regardless of position, but in Year 4 at Virginia Tech there is greater stability as far as the lineup and it is tougher to crack than it was coming out of the James Johnson era.  The imbalance of classes will force Nolley to beat out veteran talent for playing time and Sy’s transfer puts pressure to recruit posts in the Class of 2018.

David Duke is another hotly pursued recruit who happens to be a Combo Guard and he may end up being down to Virginia Tech and Providence.  The Point Guard spot is going to get very crowded, which means Duke could end up a Shooting Guard and Nolley would have to eventually compete with B.J. Mack II as a Sophomore.

At Georgia…

If Mark Fox is selling the 3 spot to Landers Nolley II, he’s making a huge mistake.  It’s a crowded position now and going forward.  However, he is likely selling him on the 2 spot, which is not as crowded and provides Nolley with the opportunity to earning playing time as a Freshman.  Nolley will have to compete with Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris, but Crump will play some time at the Point Guard spot.  With Nolley and Harris at the 2, Georgia would not miss a beat as far as shooting capability in the backcourt is concerned.

Nolley’s ability to defend and his commitment to becoming better at the skill will dictate his playing time at Georgia.

Hammonds, Claxton, Wilridge and Harris are all capable of playing the 3 spot, which means that Nolley is best suited to play Shooting Guard.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

Nolley confirmed that he was indeed in Athens because without such a confirmation, it would be a clear sign that he had other plans.

Getting Nolley and following it up with Will Richardson would complete a spectacular Class of 2018 for UGA.

Nolley’s pick is really anyone’s guess at this moment.