Later this weekend, the Development Men’s National Team will start playing some exhibition games in Europe, against Cote D’Ivoire, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain. Mark Wacyk is back at cishoops.ca, and has a rundown on the "strong CIS flavour" to the DMNT.
Current or former CIS players on the team: Casey Archibald (former UBC), Jordan Baker (Alberta), Ryan Bell (former Carleton), Tyler Fidler (Calgary), and Troy Gottselig and Michael Lieffers (both from Saskatchewan).
The next two weeks are pretty much an audition for the senior team; Leo Rautins is coaching these players after all. Alberta's Greg Francis is there as well.
Will the games themselves be interesting? Well...these are exhibition games, so maybe not. And while the FIBA rankings are probably not that useful here (or in general), Spain is by far the highest-rated of this team's opponents (and they don't play the Spanish until Aug. 1).
Of course, it's not just CIS ballers, and it wouldn't be a Canadian development team without players like Devoe Joseph and Kelly Olynyk, who we've mentioned, however briefly, here on the blog.