Conor Hockett

After ending its campaign in the Mid-American Conference Tournament a month ago, the Ball State men's basketball team is getting an early start to next season.

The team signed a contract in conjunction with Basketball Travelers Inc. to participate in a foreign tour this summer Aug. 8-16 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ball State is guaranteed at least three games on the trip and NCAA rules allow the team to have 10 practices.

All incoming freshmen and transfers to Ball State will be eligible to play. It will be the first time sophomore Tyler Koch will see game action in a Cardinals uniform after sitting out last season as a transfer from Wright State.

Opponents have not been finalized.

NCAA rules state a team is eligible to take a foreign trip once every four years. Ball State hasn't taken one since 1989.

As a team with NCAA Tournament aspirations, the trip is a good omen Ball State. The last time the Cardinals traveled outside the country, they advanced to the Sweet 16.