The Valparaiso men’s basketball team will be embarking on its first-ever preseason foreign tour next month, traveling to Cancun, Mexico August 8-13 to play four games. The preseason trip, along with the allotted practice leading up to the trip, allow the Crusaders to get a jump start on preparations for the 2010-2011 season, preparations that began with the team’s first practice Monday evening.
The NCAA allows teams to take a foreign tour once every four years, but this will be the first time that head coach Homer Drew has been able to take one of his teams on such a tour. The NCAA also provides for up to ten practice days prior to the trip, and the Crusaders plan to take advantage of all ten practice days, starting with the squad’s first practice last night. The team is scheduled to practice once more this week and three times next week before taking to the court five times during the first week of August.
The ten days of practice lead up to the Crusaders’ departure for Cancun. The squad is scheduled to travel down to the Mexican coastal city on August 8 and will play one game a day, against competition to be determined, from August 9-12 before returning to Valparaiso on August 13. While down in Cancun, the Crusaders will not only be competing on the court, but will use their time off the court to share in team-bonding activities to bring the players and coaches closer as a unit.
“Our first practice was very outstanding,” said Drew on the team’s first time together on the court with the coaches Monday night. “We’re already much bigger and stronger as a team than we were last year. Everybody came out with a high level of enthusiasm about being able to practice in July, and the staff and the players look forward to continuing to prepare for our games down in Mexico.”