Several high-profile teams will make a summer foreign trip to the Bahamas in August to play exhibition games against local competition according to report on June 12. By rule, NCAA men's basketball teams are allowed to go on a foreign trip every four years.
2014 NCAA tournament teams Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati highlight the 13 teams that will play staggered exhibition games in the Bahamas from Aug. 2 to Aug. 25. Mississippi, Morehead State, UT-Chattanooga, Northern Arizona, Alabama State, Samford, Louisiana Tech and Portland State are the other eight teams that will play in the Bahamas. All games are tentatively scheduled to be played at Sir Kendall Isaac's Gym.
Teams are allowed to practice a maximum of 10 times prior to leaving on the trip. But maybe more importantly, it gives coaches a head start on working freshmen into the rotation and building team chemistry.
"Our time to go is now, and I like it because we have a lot of new guys,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said on June 12.
Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin added "That's exactly why we're going. We've got a lot of new guys. We've been planning this for two years.''
A look at some of the top teams that will partake in the Bahamas in August:
North Carolina: The Tar Heels feature one of the nation’s top recruiting classes to go along with a veteran roster led by first-team All-ACC point guard Marcus Paige, athletic wing J.P. Tokoto and emerging big man Brice Johnson. Kennedy Meeks could be the X-factor for the team.
Kentucky: The Wildcats lost Julius Randle along with James Young but return several talented key players : Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Willie Cauley-Stein. The Wildcats also brought in a top-recruiting class featuring Trey Lyles, Tyler Ullis and Devin Booker.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers should be very deep this season. Guards James Robinson and Cameron Wright along with big men Michael Young lead the returnees.