Men's basketball use Bahamas trip to add experience
Some people go to Hawaii for their honeymoon, others go to Cancun. New head coach Keno Davis and the Central Michigan men’s basketball team went to the Bahamas for theirs.
For five days, CMU went to the Bahamas and finished 3-0 against local semipro teams. Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said he thought the trip was important with a new system and so many new faces.
“We look for ways with a new program, a new team, that provides an opportunity for additional practice and playing days,” Heeke said. “We thought it was critical that we do this and give them an opportunity to start to figure out where they are."
“A new start to the program.”
The program is allowed to take a trip every four years, according to NCAA rules. In 2010, the NCAA changed the rule for foreign trips, allowing freshmen to join the team. That rule was vital to Davis, who has so many newcomers.
Along with the trip, the NCAA allows the team to practice at home before the trip. Something that was important to the new program.
“Anytime you can borrow more hours and put more additional hours on, it can only enhance your ability to coach and prepare your team,” Heeke said.
The athletic director said the trip comes at no cost because it was funded by a promoter. In return, the Chippewas will travel to Salt Lake City for a three-game tournament around Thanksgiving against Utah, Idaho State and Wright State.
“It’s a win-win,” Heeke said. “We’ll look for very specific opportunities to do this, funding these trips is a challenge. We’re not going to make a habit of foreign tours. In our position that’s not something we’re going to be doing.”
Heeke sounds very happy with what the new men’s basketball coach has done in his first five months.
“We’re on the same wavelength and he’s hit the ground running,” he said. “He has engaged our alumns, and has really been out working on the recruiting trail, both in state and nationally. We all need to be patient in building up the program, but we’ve found the right philosophy.”