By Christian Wagner
The Marywood Men’s Basketball recently embarked on a trip to Canada from October 10 through 14.
As head coach Eric Grundman explained prior to the team’s departure, “The NCAA allows colleges and universities to travel out side of the USA once every 4 years. This is the first time that we have taken advantage of this rule. We are allowed 10 days of practice before leaving for the trip. The 10 days of practice will allow us to get a jumpstart on our season which officially begins with our first day of practice on October 15 and our first game on November 15 at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, NY against Richard Stockton State College in a season opening tip-off tournament. In essence, when we officially begin practice on October 15 we will be a little over 2 weeks ahead of schedule,” said Grundman.
The team played McMaster University on October 11 and Western Ontario University on October 13.
Prior to the trip, Grundman hoped to address several key issues.
“We will be working on many things but most specifically our transition offense and defense and our conditioning. We will be playing international or FIBA rules which lean a little bit more towards a faster paced game. International rules use a 24 second shot clock rather than the NCAA’s 35 second shot clock,” said Grundman.
Freshman forward Brent Keyes of Susquehanna looks forward to gauging himself as a freshman and seeing how he can improve himself before the season starts.
Another freshman, forward/center Rich Bell of Fleetwood hoped “to get some good basketball experience while playing against some top schools and I also plan to get some quality time with the guys.”
Grundman also believed that the trip would be a good opportunity for the players to mesh together and get to know each other better, on and off the court.
“I’d like the team to get away and experience competition at an extremely high level and both build and come together as team. The extra practice time will help and allow us to incorporate our new student-athletes into and with our returning or veteran student-athletes,” said Grundman.
The team will also take the opportunity to take the famous Maid of the Mist tour in Niagara Falls. The team had an overall record of 7-18 and 0-16 inside the conference last year. The Pacers will return two of their three top scores from last year, Matthew Medici and Joshua Pena, who averaged 14.9 and 11.5 points each, respectively.