Saturday, July 3, 2010

Men's Basketball to Take Preseason Canadian Tour

The ISU website is undergoing maintenance, so this will eventually show up over there, so I'll post it here for now.

ISU will head north in August

ISU will head north in August

July 2, 2010

Pocatello, ID --- With just four returning players and a host of newcomers, head coach Joe O'Brien knew that much of preseason practice in October and November would be about getting his team to bond, gel and learn his system of play. Well, O'Brien and company can get a big head start on the 2010-11 season as he has announced that the team will embark on a preseason tour of Vancouver, British Columbia in August, playing three games as part of Basketball Travelers, Inc.

The team will be able to practice from August 5 through August 13 before heading out on a long bus ride to Vancouver, where the team will play three games over a four-day period from Monday, August 16 to Thursday August 19. The only definite opponent set up so far is the University of Fraser Valley, who will host Idaho State on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm Pacific Time.

The Bengals return just four players from last year, one of which, Deividas Busma, redshirted after playing just seven games due to an injury. Also returning is Broderick Gilchrest, who started at point guard and is a senior, senior guard Mike Lacey, and junior guard Sherrod Baldwin.

The trip allows ISU to take advantage of a new rule in place this year that allows incoming players to take part in an international tour if they have taken and passed three hours of summer school, meaning seven of the eight newcomers will join the team. Only Kamil Gawrzydek, who is not in summer school, will not make the trip. A team can take an international trip once every four years.

"A tour like this is a tremendous benefit to us with all the new players we have entering the program," said Joe O'Brien. "Not only will we get a week's worth of practice, but we will play three games against other schools that will allow our staff to evaluate our team in a game setting."

O'Brien added, "The trip will also allow for the team to really get to know each other and bond, since a bus ride to Vancouver isn't exactly a short trip, but that is only going to benefit us down the road."

The team after the tour will have a chance to visit some of the sites of the 2010 Winter Olympics, including Whistler, British Columbia before heading back to Pocatello. "Culturally, this is a chance to really enhance the collegiate experience for our team, to see another country, and to see some of the places in the Olympics that they got to see on television will make this a great experience, not just for basketball, but educationally as well."

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