Canada, Eh? Men’s basketball team competes in foreign tour
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013
Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 19:08
The men’s basketball team took advantage of their time off and traveled to Canada this summer for an exhibition foreign tour. This journey is the first of its kind for the program while John Brady has been head coach.
The team played three consecutive days versus the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and concluded the trip with a rematch against Alberta.
To start off the Battle of the Border, the Red Wolves quickly claimed their position on the court with an 88-84 victory over Alberta. Trailing by 19 points at the end of the first 10-minute period, the team pulled through and outscored the Golden Bears 25-10 in the second half, falling short only four points at half.
After senior Ed Townsel hit a three with 6:24 left in the third, A-State took the lead for the remainder of the game. Along with Townsel, landing in double figures were senior Melvin Johnson III with 19 points, sophomore Cameron Golden with 16 and senior Kendrick Washington with 12.
“The first game we were down 22 points and came back and won,” Brady said. “It allowed us to have a belief and trust in each other and I think the earlier on players can develop that, the better off we will be.”
They didn’t stop there. The Red Wolves went on to claim a 96-76 victory over the University of Calgary.
Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke and junior Sean Gardner showed out with a game-high 16 points each, Washington added 14 and Johnson III gave 12 for A-State.
The game was led by the Red Wolves for the entirety and the Calgary Dinos never got closer than 18 points in the second half.
The final rematch against Alberta didn’t fall in ASU’s favor. The team lost 86-78 to wrap up the tournament. Although the Red Wolves had a higher shooting percentage than the Golden Bears, they were outrebounded and outscored at the free throw line.
“They play with a 28-second shot clock. We got them to play with a 30-second shot clock, but we play with a 35-second shot clock here in the states, which made things a little bit different,” Brady said. “I think we played pretty good with it, we fouled a little too much in the third game. Alberta shot 44 free throws while we shot 11.”
While on the trip, assistant coach Jeff Clapacs kept the fans up-to-date with a daily blog on astateredwolves.com. He stated, “These three games north of the border allowed us to identify some strengths and weaknesses of our team three months before the start of the season. It will also have us well-prepared for a number of tough road challenges early in November.”
The Red Wolves had three players sit out last year and added a couple of new recruits to the team this year.
“It was a good time for us to see what we needed to work on, we had ten days of practice, we were able to travel together, experience some adversity together and do it early on in the season so the timing of it was good for the players that we had, the players that we have coming in and players we have sitting out,” Brady said. “All in all, it was a very good trip for us.”