Southeast Basketball Team Plays In Canada
Sept. 1, 2004
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Southeast Missouri State University hopes to jump start the 2004-2005 basketball season by playing three exhibition games in Canada over the Labor Day weekend.
The team is allowed 10 practices prior to leaving for Canada on Friday, and Gary Garner, head coach, feels his team has made good progress. "I think our practices have gone well," he said. "The players came back in the right frame of mind and they are really excited about the trip to Canada. They've been working very hard."
The team will leave at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, with a bus trip to the airport in St. Louis for a flight to Buffalo, New York. The team will travel by bus from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, Ontario where the team will stay until the return on Monday, Sept. 6.
On Saturday, the team will play twice against Brock University at a neutral site in Niagara Falls. Game times will be 11 a.m. (CDT) and 6 p.m. (CDT). On Sunday, the team will travel to Hamilton, Ontario to play at Mohawk College in a 1 p.m. (CDT) game.
Last season, Brock was 24-13 and made an appearance at the CIS National Championship (the Canadian equivalent of the NCAA tournament). "This is a great opportunity for us to reach out to the local community and expose our strong on court product," said Brock head coach Ken Murray. "Basketball is always growing in Niagara Region and this gives us an opportunity to showcase basketball at the highest amateur level in Canada."
Garner feels his team can develop a strong team chemistry with the Canadian trip. "I feel like we are coming together as a team during our practices," he said. "The trip to another country should help us develop into a close knit unit."
Eleven players will make the trip and Garner said they will all see plenty of action. "We want to win all three games, but they don't count on our record and so our main concern will be to play everybody and try out different combinations of players. This will be a learning experience for us and it should really help us this season."
Junior college transfer Ryan "Fuzzy" Belcher will not make the trip because of an eligibility question. "It will be several weeks before Belcher's eligibility status will be determined," Garner said. "We wish he was making the trip, but hopefully all questions will be resolved and he will be with us when we start practice in October."