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UNLV heads to Canada for pre-season basketball camp

UNLV will travel to Canada ahead of the 2022-23 basketball season.

The Rebels will travel to Vancouver, B.C. for a preseason camp Aug. 15-20. Coach Kevin Kruger said he thinks the trip will give his team the opportunity to bond.

“We wanted to make sure we could take advantage of the extra time together,” said Kruger, who will take advantage of an NCAA rule that allows teams to travel internationally every four years.

Kruger said he thinks the trip will give his new players a chance to settle into the culture, learn new terminology and understand its system ahead of the season. UNLV added five players: Luis Rodriguez (Mississippi), Isaiah Cottrell (West Virginia), Elijah Parquet (Colorado), Elijah Harkless (Oklahoma) and Jackie Johnson III (Duquesne).

“We really want, when November comes around and we start playing these games, that it won’t feel like Game 1,” Kruger said.

New players aren’t the only ones familiar with the UNLV program. Kruger lost assistants Carlin Hartman (Florida) and Tim Buckley (South Carolina) in the offseason. John Cooper, most recently an assistant coach at Southern Methodist, and former Texas Tech associate head coach Barret Peery were hired.

Kruger appreciates the experience that Cooper and Peery have at many school levels and sizes. He said the two had similar outlooks on basketball and thought they would be a good fit for his program.

Kruger said this offseason was less eventful than the first. He believes the trip to Vancouver will give the new coaching staff the opportunity to understand how movie sessions work, the daily practice schedule and get an idea of ​​how the team will perform during the season.

“I think it also helps a new coaching staff,” he said.

The groundwork for the trip was laid by former UNLV coach TJ Otzelberger. He originally planned for the Rebels to travel to Vancouver, but the trip was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Kruger had the chance to choose a location this year, the contacts were already in place, which made his decision easier.

The trip will mostly consist of practice and practice, but Kruger hopes to take on a few teams.

“That’s why I think overseas travel can be so critical and positive,” he said. “Just for those guys who come to be around the coaches, to be around the team.”

Contact journalist Andy Yamashita at [email protected] To follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.