FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UA) - The University of Arkansas men's basketball team's preseason tour of Italy in mid-August was officially announced by the athletic department on Thursday. The Razorbacks will depart on Friday, August 10 for Milan and return to Arkansas on Saturday, August 19.
"The pre-season tour provides an excellent opportunity for the continued development of our men's basketball team under the leadership of Coach Anderson," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "In addition to the tremendous value of additional practice time, basketball competition and team building opportunities, our student-athletes will benefit from the educational and cultural experiences afforded by this type of organized pre-season tour."
The Razorbacks' tentative schedule has them departing on August 10 for Milan where they will spend two days. The trip continues to Florence and eventually on to Rome with stops in Pisa and Vatican City before returning to Fayetteville. The Razorbacks will play at least three games against professional teams while on the tour.
"This is a great opportunity for our basketball team, and I appreciate the support of Jeff Long and the administration," Anderson said. "Not only does this trip allow us to get 10 days of practice prior to leaving, but we'll have the opportunity to play several games and share a great cultural experience with our team. With nine new players on the roster, our team will have an opportunity to bond and really get to know each other on and off the court. I've taken teams on preseason trips in the past and they were a tremendous benefit to us."
Arkansas returns eight players from last season's team that went 18-14 including junior Marshawn Powell who was averaging 19.5 points and 6.0 rebounds before suffering a season-ending knee injury and second-team All-SEC sophomore guard BJ Young who led SEC freshmen in scoring. The Razorbacks return 69 percent of their offense and 55 percent of their rebounding from a year ago. Along with the returnees, nine new players could see time on the hardwood this season. The Razorback coaching staff signed four incoming freshmen, two transfers and has three players who either redshirted or transferred in last season.
For more information regarding Razorback men's basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.