Getting together with family for the holidays has a whole new meaning this year for G.G. Smith.
"It's a very unique opportunity in college basketball," said the Loyola head men's basketball coach. "There's not a lot of father-son combinations."
G.G. and Tubby Smith is one of them.
G.G. is the head coach at Loyola. His dad Tubby, the legendary college hoops coach, is now the head coach at Memphis. They'll be facing each other this Saturday in Tennessee when the Greyhounds tip off with the Tigers.
"I know for me personally I haven't beaten him as a player. Back when I was at Georgia he was the head coach at Kentucky. I've already lost to him once when he was at Texas Tech, in my first year at Loyola. Hopefully the third time will be a charm for me," said G.G. "He's my dad until the ball tips up. When the ball tips just treat him like any other team, like it's any other coach. It's all about trying to win the game."
The game will truly be a family affair. Alongside Tubby on the Memphis sideline is G.G.'s brother Saul, who is an assistant with the Tigers.
"Having my brother on the staff too, it's kind of like a double whammy. The win would be twice as nice," added G.G.
Before the big game on Saturday the Greyhounds will actually take the floor on Thursday when they host Drexel. It's been a tough season for 1-8 Loyola which has been filled with injuries.
However, the Hounds are finally getting healthy. Thursday's game will be their first this season with their five best players all in the lineup.
"We haven't been on the actual game floor with everybody yet," said Loyola guard Andre Walker, who has battled back from a hip injury. "So this is going to be a fun one, a good test for us. See how we gel."
It'll be a good test for Greyhounds players before this weekend's exam that their coach really wants to win.