CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston men's basketball team gears up this week, Aug. 8-11, for its four-day foreign tour of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
CofC is one of 59 programs in the nation to make a preseason trip abroad. NCAA rules permit Division I schools to take part in a foreign trip once every four years.
The Cougars will play three exhibition games against Canadian competition including Phase 1 Elite on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. (ET) and A-Game Hoops on Friday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. (ET). Both games will be played at Kerr Hall Gymnasium on the campus of Ryerson University.
They will conclude the trip with a match-up versus George Brown College, who finished with an 11-9 overall record and lost in the quarterfinals of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. (ET) on the GBC campus.
Leading up to the trip, the Cougars have been allowed 10 additional practices for prep. It will mark the first time since 1989, a CofC squad has played a preseason basketball game on foreign soil.
"These trips add to your team chemistry, to your execution and what players' roles are, so they understand what we need them to do," CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik said. "It also allows us time for team bonding on the road. Having the 10 days to practice for the tour has been really valuable to us, especially with a new coaching staff and getting used to each other from a coaching perspective. From an organizational perspective, it really allows us to lead into the fall and winter in a good place."
Junior big man Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.), who is one of four All-Southern Conference performers returning to the team this year, is excited to travel and get a head start to the season and school year.
"This will be a good experience for our team, especially with Coach Wojcik, his staff and the new players all in their first year," he said. "This trip is going to be really good for us to play and learn things about each other. Not many teams get to do this, so we won't take this experience for granted. We have been working really hard this summer and want to show that hard work pays off while we are there."
Junior forward Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) is one of the newcomers to the squad and like his teammates, has never been to Canada. The team will get a chance to sightsee on Thursday and Friday afternoon and visit some of the city's famous landmarks.
"It will be good trip for us to bond as a team," said Thomas, who is a transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College in his first year at CofC. "It will be a different type of basketball for us with it being international - a great learning experience. It should make us better and give us the upper hand on a lot of teams going into this season (with the extra preparation)."
2012 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON MEN'S BASKETBALL FOREIGN TOUR TO CANADA SCHEDULE
Wednesday, Aug. 8 - Depart Charleston, S.C., to Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, Aug. 9 - Game #1 vs. Phase 1 Elite at 7 p.m. (ET) at Ryerson University's Kerr Hall Gymnasium
Friday, Aug. 10 - Game #2 vs. A-Game Hoops at 7 p.m. (ET) at Ryerson University's Kerr Hall Gymnasium
Saturday, Aug. 11 - Game #3 vs. George Brown College at 11 a.m. (ET) at George Brown College's Gymnasium
Saturday, Aug. 11 - Depart Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Charleston, S.C.