Your guide to US Colleges on tour down under this August

Australia has become a favoured destination of US college teams during their off season, with 2018 being no different. Saint Mary’s headlines the NCAA Division I teams making the trip down under this August, while they are joined by Hawaii (men and women), Loyola Marymount, Drexel and Marquette’s women.

Here’s a guide of US colleges headed to Australia over the coming months. If you know of someone we have missed or a game we haven’t covered, please let us know!


Saint Mary’s

Where: New Zealand: Christchurch, Australia: Melbourne, Hobart & Sydney
AUS/NZ Talent: Jordan Hunter (NSW), Kyle Clark (Tas), Tanner Krebs (TAS), Jock Perry (Melbourne), Alex Mudronja (SA), Quinn Clinton (NZ) & Daniel Fotu (NZ).

Saint Mary’s has become a school synonymous for it’s Australian talent, and there are five Australian’s on this roster and two New Zealander freshman, so there remains a distinct flavour from down under. While the Gaels have toured Australia previously, it is their first time setting foot on New Zealand soil.

Head Coach Randy Bennett stumbled onto something when he recruited Adam Caporn to Moraga, California all those years ago, and now the pipeline to Saint Mary’s from Australia and now New Zealand is well and truly flowing.

Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova both went from playing for the Gaels to plying the hardwood in the NBA, while Jock Landale graduated last season and has just signed with Partizan. The next generation of Australian stars should be fun to watch on this tour, including Tanner Krebs who worked his way into the Gaels starting lineup last season, and recent Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence graduate Alex Mudronja who will join the team for his freshman season after starring in the SEABL.

Their biggest test on tour will come at the hands of reigning NBL champions Melbourne United on Thursday, 9 August at the State Basketball Centre.

Schedule

  • Monday, 6 August, 5:00pm | Mainland Eagles Invitational @ Cowles Stadium, Christchurch (tickets)
  • Tuesday, 7 August, 7:30pm | Mainland Eagles Invitational @ Cowles Stadium, Christchurch (tickets)
  • Thursday, 9 August, 7:00pm | Melbourne United @ State Basketball Centre, Wantirna South (tickets)
  • Friday, 10 August, 7:00pm | Dandenong Rangers @ Dandenong Stadium, Dandenong North (tickets)
  • Sunday, 12 August, 2:00pm | Hobart Chargers @ Derwent Entertainment Centre, Glenorchy (tickets at the door)
  • Tuesday, 14 August, 7:00pm | Illawarra Select @ The Snakepit, Gwynneville (tickets)
  • Wednesday, 15 August, 7:00pm | Sydney Kings @ Scholastic Sports Stadium, Terrigal (tickets)

Hawaii – Men

Where: Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra & Sydney
AUS/NZ Talent: Jack Purchase (VIC), Mate Colina (VIC) & Owen Hulland (SA)

The closest Division I school to Australia is finally making the trip over, and at a time when it boast three Aussies on their roster. Senior sharpshooting forward Jack Purchase gets to return home to play, while Centre of Excellence freshman duo Mate Colina and Owen Hulland also will get their chance.

A former assistant at Saint Mary’s, head coach Eran Ganot is no stranger to Australia and acutely aware of the Gaels’ success in tapping the talent pipeline.

“This is such a rare opportunity,” Ganot said. “We’ll be visiting some of the best cities in the world and it will be an exciting and memorable experience for our players, staff, families, and friends. Australia has been such a big part of my life and my family’s life, so to be able to share this incredible country with everybody is going to be awesome.”

Ganot is looking forward to being able to take advantage of the extra practice session, and the opportunity to integrate the newcomers to the team, hoping ti will provide a springboard for a big season in 2018/19.

Schedule

  • Saturday, 11 August, 6:30pm | Brisbane Bullets @ Churchie Grammar School, East Brisbane (tickets at the door)
  • Monday, 13 August, 7:30pm | Melbourne Tigers @ The Veneto Club, Bulleen (tickets at the door)
  • Wednesday, 15 August, Time TBC | BA Centre of Excellence @ Venue TBC
  • Friday, 17 August | Sydney Kings (closed session)

Loyola Marymount

Where: Melbourne & Cairns
AUS/NZ Talent: None

While LMU’s roster does not currently boast any talent from Australia, it does have a head coach that is very familiar with the sport down under. Mike Dunlap was the head coach of the Adelaide 36ers, helping them reach the NBL grand final in 1995, while Mark Worthington was a graduate assistant coach with him last season.  Previous Australian alumni include South Australia’s David Humphries and Josh Spiers.

The Lions travel to Australia with their leading scorer James Batemon the one to watch. The 6’1 guard averaged almost 18 points per game last season and with a young squad, he is likely to be required to better that mark in 2018/19. His side is slated to take on two NBL teams, including Melbourne United, and if their schedule permits due to the 2018 QBL finals series, the Cairns Taipans.

Schedule

  • Sunday, 12 August, 6:00pm | NBL Gen X @ Keilor Basketball Stadium, Keilor Park (tickets)
  • Tuesday, 14 August, 7:00pm | Dandenong Rangers @ Dandenong Stadium, Dandenong North (tickets)
  • Thursday, 16 August, 7:00pm | Melbourne United @ Casey Stadium, Cranbourne East (tickets)
  • Date and Time TBC | Cairns Taipans @ Cairns Basketball Centre, Cairns (confirmation pending 2018 QBL finals scheduling)

Drexel

Where: Melbourne & Cairns
AUS/NZ Talent: None

After losing their leading scorer last season, junior guard Kurk Lee and Turkish junior forward Alihan Demir will be looked upon to step up to another level and should be the players to watch.

The tour is likely to provide the coaching staff with an opportunity to see which players can step up for 2018/19, and they will have plenty of chances to do it against quality opposition. The Cairns Taipans should be a tough test on 23 august before taking on one of the favourites for the 2018/19 NBL championship in the Sydney Kings. The Kings game could well see former NBA star Andrew Bogut make his debut for his new team.

Schedule

  • Monday, 20 August, 7:00pm | Dandenong Rangers @ Dandenong Stadium, Dandenong North (tickets)
  • Tuesday, 21 August, 7:00pm | Hoops 24/7 All Stars @ Cardinia Life, Pakenham (tickets)
  • Thursday, 23 August, 7:00pm | Cairns Taipans @ Cairns Basketball Centre, Cairns (tickets at the door)
  • Sunday, 26 August, 4:00pm | Sydney Kings @ Alexandria Basketball Stadium, Alexandria (tickets)

Hawaii – Women

Where: Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney
AUS/NZ Talent: Courtney Middap (TAS), Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard (WA) & Amy Atwell (WA)

Like the men, the Rainbow Wahine women are looking forward to their tour of New Zealand and Australia, and their first ever international tour.

It is a chance for their three Aussies to play on home soil, although none of them get the opportunity to play in their home cities, as their stops include Melbourne and Sydney. Boasting an Australian assistant coach in Darron Larson who was recently added, the trip is the next step in developing the program according to head coach Laura Beeman.

“Obviously one of our goals was to get to the NCAA Tournament, we’ve done that,” Beeman said in a statement. “Winning our conference, we’ve done that. The next step is to take an international tour where we can compete against high-level international players, experience the different cultures, and use it as a recruiting tool.”

Schedule

  • Thursday, 9 August, 5:30pm| NZ Premiere North @ Auckland Grammar (tickets)
  • Sunday, 12 August, 4:30pm | NZ Premiere South @ Cowles Stadium, Christchurch (tickets)
  • Wednesday, 15 August, 7:00pm | Diamond Valley @ Parade College, Bundoora (tickets)
  • Saturday, 18 August, 10:15am | ATC Academy @ Sutherland Basketball Stadium, Sutherland (tickets)
  • )

Hawaii – Women

Where: Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney
AUS/NZ Talent: None

Schedule

  • Saturday, 11 August, TBC | Melbourne TBC
  • 13-17 August, TBC| Sydney TBC
  • 17-20 August TBC | Cairns TBC
Damian Arsenis

Written by

A patriotic and passionate follower of all things #AussieHoops. With a Master of Marketing, I am a Life Member of the Warrandyte Basketball Association, Level 2 qualified coach and referee, podcaster, and proud father of three girls.

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