The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team will get a head start on preparations for the 2010-11 season when it travels to Ottawa to participate in a three-day Canadian basketball exhibition tournament Sept. 3-5. The Bearcats will play Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 3, Carleton on Saturday, Sept. 4 and McGill on Sunday, Sept. 5. The Bearcats will receive an additional 10 days of practice, which will begin in mid-August.
The Bearcats and Ravens previously faced each other on November 2008. Ravens showed they can compete with NCAA Division I schools as they fell by 10 points, 64-54 to the Cincinnati Bearcats, one of the traditional power houses in the Big East.
Carleton, which is hosting the games, has won six Canadian national championships, returns all but one player from a team that lost in the national semifinals last year and is expected to be a national championship contender again next season.
The Bearcats join a roster of major college teams that have played in this event in recent years, including Louisville, Kansas, Alabama, Illinois and Villanova.
“We’ve had a decent amount of success,” said Carleton coach Dave Smart. “We beat Alabama, lost to Illinois in overtime, lost by one to Louisville, one to Kansas and lost to Villanova by nine.
“It’s great for us. It’s early in the year and we’re playing against athletes that we very seldom see. We see the holes in our offensive execution because they take us out of what we do with their athleticism.”
The Bearcats are coming off a 19-16 season and a second-round appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Cincinnati lost three players from last year’s team, including guards Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson, the Bearcats’ top two scorers.