JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The start of the 2013-14 season for the Arkansas State University men's basketball team is rapidly approaching as A-State begins preparations for its trip to Canada August 14-18 for three exhibition games in Calgary, Alberta.
Arkansas State, under sixth-year head coach John Brady, will embark on its five-day foreign trip Wednesday, Aug. 14 via Memphis Tenn. on a 7 a.m. (CT) flight and arrive in Calgary around 1 p.m. (MT) from Dallas, Texas.
The Red Wolves will be practicing Aug. 5-13 prior to the trip. The opportunity to play against foreign competition should benefit the A-State 2013-14 squad in a number of important ways.
"This is a great time for us to see what we have and for our players to define their roles," said Brady. "This is the best collection of players I've had talent wise at Arkansas State and this trip to Canada will show us what we need to improve upon. Most teams who play in these foreign tournaments come back and have good seasons."
A-State will play three exhibition outings in three consecutive days (Aug. 15-17) with two contests against the University of Alberta (Aug. 15 and 17) and one versus University of Calgary (Aug. 16). The Red Wolves, who posted a 19-12 overall record and claimed their second Sun BeltConference (SBC) West Division Championship title in the last three seasons in the 2012-13 campaign, will face the University of Alberta Golden Bears in their exhibition tour opener Thursday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. (MT) inside UA's Saville Centre. A-State squares off against the University of Calgary Dinos Friday, Aug. 16, in an 8 p.m. (MT) tilt at UC's Jack Simpson Gym. The Red Wolves conclude their foreign tour competition Saturday, Aug. 17, with a 4 p.m. (MT) matchup against the University of Alberta.
The three exhibition games will feature rules implemented by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) with four 10-minute quarters, a 30-second shotclock, and feature a NBA-sized lane. Teams will have eight seconds to avoid being assessed a half-court violation and timeouts can only be acknowledged at the scorers table.
The NCAA allows teams to take a foreign tour every four years. The A-State men's basketball staff and student-athletes are looking forward to this special opportunity.
"This is a once and a lifetime experience for our team," said senior guard Ed Townsel. "We are so happy that our administration, coaches, boosters, and fans made this trip to Calgary possible for us. It will be a great cultural experience and also a great bonding experience. The 10 practices and the games in Calgary will give our team the chance to bond together early and have something to build off along with what we need to work on before our season starts. This is a great opportunity for us and we're looking to take full advantage of it."
"This will really be a good experience for us," said sophomore guard Cameron Golden. "It will let us know where we are as a team and what we need to work on early. I'm excited to represent Arkansas State University in another country."
"I'm very excited about playing in Canada," stated junior guard Rakeem Dickerson. "This is an experience which most don't get the chance to have in life. I think this trip will bring us closer as a team in building our chemistry and confidence. Also just having the opportunity to play in a foreign country sets the expectation bar a little higher going into the season for our fans."
Following the exhibition games, Arkansas State will depart Calgary on Sunday, Aug. 18 and arrive in Memphis the same day in the afternoon. The student-athletes will start fall semester classes on Monday, Aug. 19.
For fans who wish to follow the Red Wolves on their trip to Canada, periodic updates and photos throughout the trip will be posted at www.astateredwolves.com
2013 Calgary Exhibition Tour Opponents
University of Alberta Golden Bears
Head Coach: Barnaby Craddock (2nd Year)
2012-13 Record: 15-10 Overall, 14-8 Conference (Canada West Universities Athletic Association)
University of Calgary Dinos
Head Coach: Dan Vanhooren (14th Year)
2012-13 Record: 13-9 Overall, 12-9 Conference (Canada West Universities Athletic Association)
Calgary is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta and is situated on the Bow River in the south of the province. The city is the largest in Alberta and the boasts the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Calgary, which is located 180-plus miles south of Edmonton, became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games (1988).
Some interesting facts about the City of Calgary are:
* The Calgary Stampede is an annual 10-day event, which bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth." The event features the world's largest rodeo, concerts, midway, etc. and attracts over one million visitors.
* According to Forbes.com, Calgary is the cleanest city in the world.
* The Calgary region is home to more than 1.3 million people.
*Nearly 25 percent of Calgary residents are foreign born.
*More than 120 languages are spoken in Calgary.
*Calgary has two professional sports teams – the Calgary Flames (NHL hockey) and the Calgary Stampeders (CFL football).
* The Plus 15 is an inside walkway which connects 100 buildings with 60 suspended bridges at a heighth of 15 feet above the ground. A person can walk 11 miles (18 kms) in downtown Calgary without having to go outdoors.