Knights Begin Preparations for Trip to Canada

July 18, 2011

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The summer months are usually filled with pickup games for members of the UCF men's basketball squad, but this year is different. On Monday, the Knights were practicing in July as the squad started its preparations for its upcoming trip to Canada for three exhibition games.

The NCAA allows teams who are heading on foreign tours to practice 10 times before leaving the country. Head coach Donnie Jones and his staff plan to spread the practices out prior to departing for Montreal on Aug. 10.

On Monday, the Knights worked on fundamentals, and also spent time working on pushing the ball offensively and its half-court defense.

"It is not very often that you get to practice in July," Jones said. "We are trying to implement a lot in a very short amount of time. It was good to be back out there, and we are just looking to get better as a team each practice."

The Canadian trip will be financed by money raised from the Victory Club, UCF's basketball booster club.

UCF will play Canadian college teams while in Montreal. Schools are allowed to take foreign trips every four years. The program last went out of the country in 2005, visiting Belgium, France and Hollan.

The Knights began practice with a lengthy agility session, managed by former UCF guard and current strength and conditioning coach Ben O'Donnell. All of UCF's returning players are scheduled to make the trip to Montreal, as are freshmen Rod Days, Wayne Martin and Kasey Wilson, who are enrolled in summer school. The trio experienced their first college practice on Monday.

UCF will return to the practice court tomorrow for another evening session.