IlliniAnnounces Canadian Tour

CHAMPAIGN, ILL.—Head coach Bruce Weber announced today that this year's Illini team will get a head start on the 2007-08 college basketball season by participating in an exhibition tour of Canada over Labor Day weekend. Illinois will play five games during the trip, first visiting Ottawa for two games and wrapping up with three games in Montreal.

The Illini will depart for Canada on Friday afternoon, Aug. 31 and return to campus on Monday evening, Sept. 3. In Ottawa, Illinois will play Carleton University (Aug. 31, 8 p.m. CT) and the University of Ottawa (Sept. 1, Noon). Then in Montreal, the Illini will play Concordia University (Sept. 2, 11 a.m.), McGill University (Sept. 3, 11 a.m.) and the Canadian Military Select Team (Sept. 3, 1:30 p.m.).

In addition to its returning players, Illinois' newcomers are eligible for the trip as well since the dates of the tour follow the beginning of the fall semester. Prior to leaving for Canada, the team will practice in Champaign from Aug. 22-30.

"Going to Canada should be a great start to our season and will help bring the team together early on," Weber said. "We have a very difficult non-conference schedule, especially at the beginning, so we need to take advantage of this opportunity in order to be ready come November. This trip will allow important practice and game situations for our new players, and will also serve as a fresh start for some of our returning guys who battled through injuries last season."

This marks the first foreign tour trip for the program since the summer of 2003 when Weber took his first Illini team to Sweden, Finland and Estonia.

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