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CHARLOTTESVILLEThe Virginia men’s basketball team will start preparations for the 2008-09 season a little early because of a trip to Montreal featuring three exhibition games at the end of August. Virginia is scheduled to leave for Montreal on Aug. 29 and play two games on Aug. 30. The Cavaliers play one game on Aug. 31 before returning home that day.

UVa is scheduled to play St. Lawrence College in the morning and Concordia University in the afternoon on Aug. 30. Both games will be played at Concordia. The Cavaliers are scheduled to play at McGill University on the morning of Aug. 31.

Virginia can begin practicing for the trip on Aug. 19 and the Cavaliers are allowed 10 practices before leaving for Montreal. UVa’s three first-year players John Brandenburg, Sylven Landesberg and Assane Sene can play in the games, but can’t begin practicing with the team in preparation for the trip until classes begin at Virginia on Aug. 26.

“I am excited to get an early look at our team,” said Virginia head coach Dave Leitao. “It will give us a chance to establish some roles and make some early decisions.”

Virginia seniors Mamadi Diane and Laurynas Mikalauskas will not play in the games because of injuries.

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