Exhibition tour could benefit Wildcats' offseason preparation

2012-02-13T20:15:00Z 2012-02-13T22:46:03Z Exhibition tour could benefit Wildcats' offseason preparationBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

Not only will Sean Miller likely have a much fuller complement of talent on hand to work with next summer, but he'll also have much more time to work with it.

Miller said on his radio show tonight at the Wildcats will be well-prepared next season because of an NCAA rule change allowing limited summertime workouts and because they will likely take an exhibition tour.

The Wildcats are expected to leave in August for a short trip to the Bahamas, though details are not final, said Ryan Reynolds, UA's director of basketball operations.

Teams who take exhibition tours, which are allowed once every four years, can take up to 10 full practices before going. UA may only play two or three actual games, as Memphis did in the Bahamas during the summer of 2010.

"For us, it's more about the extra practices," Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the Wildcats would likely leave in August, after their freshmen have taken some summer session courses. Players aren't eligible for foreign trips until they have enrolled in school.

In addition, the Wildcats are "99 percent" certain to play in the Bahamas, Reynolds added.

UA has not taken a foreign trip since Labor Day weekend 2006, when the Wildcats went to Vancouver, British Columbia, before Lute Olson's final season. The Wildcats had originally planned to go to Europe in the spring of 2006 but ran short of eligible and healthy players.

The NCAA rule change allows coaches to work with players in small group drills for up to two hours a week, up to eight weeks, during the summer with eligible players. Coaches previously have not been able to work with players on the court during the summer, though they have been allowed a similar two-hour window once school begins and before the start of official full practices.


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