Memphis, TN-In a little over two months, the University of Memphis men’s basketball team is traveling to the Great White North for a six-day, four-game foreign exhibition tour. The Tigers are scheduled to play three programs – Carleton University, McGill University and the University of Ottawa – on their Aug. 15-20 trip to Canada.
Three of the four games are slated to be held in Ottawa, with the fourth contest scheduled for Montreal. Prior to the trip, Memphis will have 10 team practices.
“This is an important summer for us to have an opportunity to play games, and good-competition games at that, because we have a brand new team,” said head coach Josh Pastner. “Other than Shaq Goodwin, a two-year starter; Austin Nichols, a one-year starter; and Nick King, who was in our rotation the second half of the season, no one else has a lot of game experience. That’s why this Canadian exhibition trip is good for us because it offers real-game competition.
“The most important thing about putting this trip together was finding great competition, and this tour has it. The teams we’ll see on the tour took Louisville, Syracuse and Wisconsin down to the wire last summer, and the Cardinals, Orange and Badgers were three of the best teams in college basketball this past season. We’ll face teams that run really good stuff, and if we don’t play well, we can get beat. But, it will be good for us to face that level of competition this summer.
“On this tour, everyone will play, and the staff and I will determine that. But, I want everyone to play and gain experience from this trip. I want them to play through their mistakes. I’m not worried about wins and losses on this trip. I’m more concerned with gaining experience against good competition.”
The Canadian foreign tour is the second for the Tigers under Pastner. Memphis took a foreign exhibition tour to The Bahamas in August of 2010. This year’s foreign tour is the third for Memphis since 2000-01. The Tigers also traveled to Cancun in early October of 2003 just prior to the start of preseason practice.
This is also the first time Memphis is traveling to Canada since November of 1996. The 1996-97 Tigers opened the regular season with a neutral-site game against Wisconsin in Ottawa. Memphis dropped a narrow 49-46 decision to the Badgers in its season opener Nov. 23, 1996.
The following is the Memphis/Canadian foreign tour schedule and opponents’ team capsules:
Aug. 15 – Travel day to Ottawa
Aug. 16 – vs. Carleton University, 6 p.m. (CT)
Aug. 17 – vs. University of Ottawa, 6 p.m. (CT)
Aug. 18 – vs. McGill University, 6 p.m. (CT)***
Aug. 19 – vs. Carleton University, 6 p.m. (CT)
Aug. 20 – Travel day to Memphis
*** Game to be played in Montreal