Auburn, Ala.--Tony Barbee will be taking his Tigers on an exhibition tour to The Bahamas in August, the Auburn head basketball coach said on Monday.
“I think it is a great deal for us to do that with the veteran players who have been in the program now for three years and then the amount of new additions that we have,” Barbee said.
“It is a great time to develop some chemistry and get to work on some different things,” he added. “It will give us a little bit of a head start as we go into the next season.”
The coach said the details of the trip are still being worked out with the basketball federation in The Bahamas, which will line up the opponents, the game dates and practice facilities. “Right now we don’t have a schedule of the games of who exactly we are playing,” he noted.
“They informed us there are going to be 12 other Division I teams down there in The Bahamas at that time,” the coach noted.
The Tigers are scheduled to be in The Bahamas for a week. They will leave the country on August 2nd and return on the 9th. Last summer the women's basketball team won three of four games in an exhibition tour to Australia.
Barbee said the Tigers will start a home-and-one series this season with Clemson coming to the Auburn Arena. Another ACC team, Boston College, will visit Auburn for a return game after the Tigers played there last year.
The Tigers played Illinois last season in Chicago. This season the Illini will travel south to take on Auburn in a game that will be played at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
“We have still got a few games left to schedule,” the coach said. “I think the strength of our schedule is pretty solid. The Iowa State game in the Big 12-SEC Challenge is a challenging game against one of the top teams in the Big 12.”
Barbee added, “Every year we have upgraded our schedule and this year will be no different.”
The Tigers will be counting on immediate help from a signee class that includes seven players, including late addition, point guard Malcolm Canada, a juco transfer who signed with the Tigers last week.
“I think they will all be enrolled here as we start the second summer session,” Barbee said. “We are still waiting on some paperwork on the international kids (forward Matthew Atewe of Canada, guard/forward Dion Wade of Belgium and forward/center Benas Griciunas of Lithuania), which is always a challenge. It is kind of a timing deal. We expect them to all be enrolled here in this second summer session--our entire roster.”
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