Citadel basketball bound for week-long trip to Dominican Republic
The Citadel basketball team will leave Saturday for a week in the Dominican Republic. It’s a chance for competition, practice and cultural exchange — and extra experience for a team with no seniors and six freshmen.
“I’m excited about it for the guys,” coach Duggar Baucom said. “We thought this was the perfect time to take the trip. Such a young team, no seniors, we thought it was a great time to benefit from the basketball aspect and from the team unity side. The 10 days of practice really benefits our freshmen and gives them almost a two month head start.”
The NCAA permits one overseas trip every four years. The trip will provide 10 days of practice and three games against teams from the Dominican.
The Bulldogs will play three games, all in Punta Cana, during the week, and host a free youth clinic in the area. The Citadel will face the Dominican Republic U19 Select Team twice, once on Sunday less than 24 hours after arriving, and again on Wednesday. A matinee game against the Higueyana U25 Select Team on Monday is the middle of the three games on the trip. The Bulldogs return to Charleston next Friday.
The six freshmen have spent the allotted practice time leading up to the trip acclimating to The Citadel, to the Bulldogs’ style of play, and to college basketball in general.
“The main thing is getting them to play at the pace we want them to play,” Baucom said of his freshmen. “During these 10 days of practice, the focus has been on tempo, transition, and toughness. This time last year, six of these guys were preparing for their final high school season and they figured out pretty quickly the college game is a little different.”
The Bulldogs will adapt as a team to FIBA rules for a week. It’ll be a taste of international basketball for a short period of time, but certain changes – like a shorter shot clock – should not be a factor.
“The adjustment for us as a young team is compounded by playing with a different set of rules,” Baucom added. “We’re playing by FIBA rules, 24-second shot clock, which won’t bother us, but a different ball, playing quarters, resetting the fouls. It shouldn’t change much for us if we play the way we want to play.”