Kent State's men's basketball team has been taking part in some rare August practices this week in preparation for its upcoming trip to the Bahamas.
NCAA rules permit schools to take an off-season foreign tour once every four years, so the Golden Flashes will make their first season oversees venture since traveling to Italy in August of 2009 later this month. The Flashes are permitted to practice 10 days before departing for the Bahamas on Aug. 18, where they'll play four games against national teams from Aug. 19-23.
Third-year KSU head coach Rob Senderoff led his squad through its first practice on Monday.
"We lifted Monday morning then had a 2 ½-hour practice Monday afternoon," said Senderoff late Wednesday night. "On Tuesday we had a morning shoot-around, then went 2 ½ hours Tuesday night and 99 percent of it was spent on defense. The guys competed pretty hard. We gave them (Wednesday) off because we thought they needed it. Physically they're not in the shape they'll be in when we're actually preparing to play the season."
The entire team has been on hand for practice, although junior point guard Kris Brewer sat out Tuesday's session.
"(Brewer) had a cyst on his knee and took an injection," said Senderoff, who expected Brewer to be back for Thursday's practice.
A couple of veterans caught Senderoff's eye during the first two days of practice, along with one of the newcomers.
"I wouldn't say anyone really stood out, but (sophomore forward) Khaliq Spicer is doing a good job rebounding," said Senderoff. "He and (senior forward) Mark Henniger both look bigger and stronger. One of our new players, (junior guard) Derek Jackson (transfer from Central Michigan), was a real good defensive player when he played at Central Michigan and he's done a real good job of picking things up on that end."
He's got real good feet defensively."
Senderoff, who guided the Flashes to their 14th season with 20 or more wins in the past 15 years last winter, said practices were scheduled for Thursday and today. Players will get the day off Saturday, then have one more week of preparation before departing for the Bahamas.
Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier