Men's Basketball Prepares for Four-Game Canadian Tour in Mid-August

Men's Basketball Prepares for Four-Game Canadian Tour in Mid-August

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team has returned to campus in preparation for a week-long, four-game Canadian exhibition tour beginning next week.

"We are all very excited about the opportunity to take a trip to two beautiful Canadian cities, Toronto and Montreal," said Eric Eaton, who heads into his fourth season as head coach. "It's a great opportunity for us to practice, play against some great universities and, most importantly, be together. We can't thank our donors enough for their support to provide this experience for our student-athletes, and we look forward to exploring the amazing culture and history that Canada has to offer. We are also looking forward to competing at a high level and getting an early look at our team. I know our guys are thrilled and are ready to make some life-long memories."

The Purple Knights kick off their 1,000-mile road trip next Wednesday by heading north to Bishop's University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, for a 3:30 p.m. contest. The Gaiters, who advanced as far as last year's Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) Championship semifinals, won the RSEQ title only two years ago, earning a bid to the U SPORTS Final 8 national tournament in the process. Following the game, the Purple and Gold trek westward to Toronto, where they are slated to spend Thursday sightseeing.

Next Friday, Saint Michael's faces Sheridan College of Oakville, Ontario, at 6 p.m. The Bruins were 4-5 during an abbreviated 2021-22 campaign but went 13-7 in 2019-20, their latest complete season, and won four Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) titles between 2012-13 and 2018-19. The following day, the Purple Knights head to Toronto Metropolitan University, which was known as Ryerson University until this past May, for a 1 p.m. tip-off before busing to Montreal postgame. The Rams were 9-7 last season, getting knocked out of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Wilson Cup postseason tournament by eventual U SPORTS national champion Carleton (Ont.) University, which has claimed 16 national titles in the past 20 years. Toronto Metropolitan has had its own regional success of late, winning OUA Wilson Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

After a day of rest and sightseeing in Montreal on Aug. 14, Saint Michael's wraps the trip the next day against Concordia University of Montreal at 7 p.m. before returning to Colchester on Aug. 16. The Stingers had the most successful 2021-22 season of the Purple Knights' Canadian foes, advancing to the RSEQ Championship finale before losing to McGill (Que.) University, 48-46, to fall one win short of a spot in the U SPORTS Final 8 national championship tournament.

Junior Kasai Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Millbrook School) headlines a contingent of nine returners from last year's Purple Knight squad, as the 2019-20 Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year averages 15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for his career. Sophomore CJ Crews (Tampa, Fla./Bayshore Christian School) turned in 9.9 points and a team-leading 27 steals as a rookie, but averaged 13.9 points and 2.4 three-pointers per game over the final 10 contests as his team's second-leading scorer. Classmate Jacob Duniver (Fredericksburg, Va./Woodstock Academy) took eighth in the NE10 in three-point shooting (41.3%) while burying 45 triples, posting 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, and taking second on the squad in assists (41).

Among the returners is senior Dario Milojevic (Windsor, Ontario/Herman Academy/Mississippi Valley State), the team's lone native Canadian. He shot 58.3% from the floor in 5.6 minutes per game last year, averaging 1.8 points and 0.9 rebounds. The Purple Knights' 14-man roster features five newcomers, including Division I junior transfers Joël Kabimba (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo/Middleburg Academy/Bryant) and Romar Reid (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Woodstock Academy/Manhattan).

Saint Michael's Men's Basketball Canadian Tour Schedule
Wednesday, Aug. 10 @ Bishop's (Quebec) University, 3:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12 @ Sheridan (Ontario) College, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 13 @ Toronto Metropolitan University, 1 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 15 @ Concordia (Quebec) University, 7 p.m.