UC Basketball Opens Camp Aug. 20 for Foreign Tour

Aug. 18, 2010

CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team will open 10 days of camp on Friday (Aug. 20) in preparation for its three-game foreign tour to Ottawa, Ont., Canada. During the trip, the Bearcats will take on McGill University on Friday, Sept. 3, Carleton University in the CAN-AM Shootout at the Scotiabank Place on Saturday, Sept. 4, and then Ottawa University on Sunday, Sept. 5.

"The opportunity to have 10 extra days of practice and three games is exciting for many reasons," said fifth-year head coach Mick Cronin. "First of all to get back in the gym as a team and begin to lay the foundation for success is great. Our main focus in camp will be to begin the process of developing as a group and how we will play, especially on offense. The trip to Canada alone is a great team building experience and we will have some exercises designed specifically for that. We have had some guys work very hard this summer, but to be able to get in the gym with them is a big advantage and I am excited to get started."

This foreign tour, which is the UC's first under Cronin, starts against McGill University on Friday.

UC has played Saturday's opponent, Carleton, once before since Cronin took over, taking a 64-54 decision from the Ravens in exhibition play in 2008-09 at Fifth Third Arena. In the game, then-freshman forward Yancy Gates scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. The Ravens are six-time Canadian national champions and return all but one player last year's squad that posted a 20-2 record and lost in the national semifinals.

The Bearcats close out the trip on Sunday, Sept. 5 vs. Ottawa. Cincinnati last faced off against the Braves in Cincinnati in an exhibition game in 2006-07, winning 81-59.

Cincinnati enters the 2010-11 season with three starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 19-16 and made its first appearance in the NIT under Cronin. The Bearcats top returning scorer and rebounder is junior forward Yancy Gates (10.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg), a 2008-09 BIG EAST All-Rookie Team selection. Fellow returning starters include senior center Ibrahima Thomas (5.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Jaquon Parker (4.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg). The Bearcats will add depth to the front court with the additions of 6-foot-8 freshman forward Justin Jackson and 6-foot-10 freshman center Kelvin Gaines.