Friday, 21 August 2009

Guelph NCAA game article

Here is a recent piece from the Guelph Mercury updating the Gryphons including a Brady Heslip update from Coach O'Rourke

Lone NCAA game for Hoop Gryphs

Rob Massey
GUELPH — Basketball fans wanting to see NCAA competition in Guelph might be getting their last chance on the Labour Day weekend.

The Guelph Gryphons men’s basketball team will host the Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs in their lone game against NCAA competition this year. That’s down from as many as three games in the last couple of years.

“The NCAA has changed the rules,” Gryphon coach Chris O’Rourke said. “A lot of teams can’t come up now. Schools can’t take foreign trips once they’ve started school. They’re just going to get fewer and fewer to none eventually.”

The Gryphs (13-19 overall last season) and Mocs (18-17) will play Sept. 6 at the Mitchell Athletics Centre. Tip-off is 8 p.m.

While teams could already be on the floor practising, the Gryphs will wait until Aug. 25 to begin their workouts.

“We’ll get going in a week or so,” O’Rourke said.

“We’re allowed to actually start practising August 15, but we won’t start doing anything more formal until next week.”

When they hit the court for their first official session, the Gryphs won’t be starting from scratch as most of the players have been in town all summer long and have amassed plenty of floor time.

“We’ll do what we’ve been doing all summer,” O’Rourke said. “The guys have done two nights a week of skill and play and then three nights of strength and conditioning all summer. We’ll just keep doing that.

“Most of the guys have been around and, if not, they’ve been here for the camps in August. The guys have been working hard, but playing and getting into actual game mode is a little bit different.”

One player who is not likely to be with the Gryphs this season is Brady Heslip, one of the recruits that the team expected to land, one they announced in June.

“He may be going to a prep school in the States,” O’Rourke said. “Has he formally spouted that to me? No. But by all indications, it’s looking like he’s going to give that a go.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations, him and I and his dad, over the course of the last month, month and a half. I’m pretty safe in saying he’s not coming.

“He’s supposed to come up and meet with me, but it’s not looking good, which hurts.”

Including the game against the Mocs, the Gryphs have lined up five home pre-season games this season. The others are against Dalhousie Oct. 15, Eureka College of Illinois Oct. 16, St. Mary’s Oct. 24 and St. Francis Xavier Oct. 25.

The Gryphs will open their regular season Nov. 6 at home against the reigning national champion Carleton Ravens.

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