Winston-Salem, NC, United States (4E Sports) – An extremely young Wake Forest team will face its first test this fall when the Demon Deacons make a preseason trip north of the border in October to play two men’s basketball exhibition games in Canada.
Wake Forest will play Brock University on Oct. 19 in St. Catherines, Ontario and face Ryerson University the next day in Toronto.
The mid-October slate, announced last July 1, marks the first international preseason trip for the Demon Deacons since September 2006, when they went to the Bahamas.
Coach Jeff Bzdelik said his Wake Forest team that only returns four scholarship players will benefit from the opportunity to face off against international competition.
“With a young team, including seven freshmen and two sophomores, I didn’t want to go all the way across the world for an international trip in August because I was worried about the fatigue factor when you get into February and March,” Bzdelik said in a release. “We’re just going to take a 90-minute flight up to Toronto in October and play two games against two universities up there.”
The Brock Badgers, who finished 10-12 last season, and the Ryerson Rams, who went 13-9 and advanced to the CIS Final 8 for the first time in 14 seasons, have previously played American NCAA teams.
Brock welcomed both Murray State and North Florida last year, while Ryerson played host to Baylor and played road games at Santa Clara, Stanford and Rhode Island.
Bzdelik will lead the 2012-13 campaign of the Deacons, who apart from returning just four scholarship letterwinners, have added seven freshmen.
Though guard Tony Chennault transferred to Villanova, Wake Forest returns C.J. Harris and Travis McKie, who combined to score close to 33 points per game in 2011. Harris (16.7 ppg.) and McKie (16.1) are the ACC’s top two leading returning scorers.
During the trip, the Deacons will visit Niagara Falls and tour the city of Toronto.
Wake Forest is set to open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9.