Penn State Basketball Gears Up For European Tour
“I know my coaches won’t be happy about this, but I know Belgium has some great chocolate,” said sophomore Brandon Taylor when asked about what he can’t wait to see in Europe.
“It’s little bit of a vacation, but there’s business we need to take care of.”
The Penn State Men’s Basketball team is heading out of State College Saturday morning on seven-day tour with stops in Belgium, Brussels, Paris, London, and more. Head Coach Patrick Chambers and a few players spoke to the media before an open practice session to discuss the trip.
“These guys are so tired of beating each other up…it’s gonna be great to play against somebody else. Not just anybody else, we’re playing against grown men, we’re playing against pros, ex-NBA players, guys who’ve been drafted…It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” said Chambers about the opportunity they have at hand.
Chambers explained that team bonding is a big goal for the trip. In addition, he’s looking forward to seeing how his players have developed since the season ended in March.
Chambers, a self-proclaimed history buff, also mentioned that he’s never been to Europe and is excited to see their culture as well as tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower.
The team was allowed 10 days of practice for this trip, which Chambers called “invaluable.” He touched on the recovery of senior Tim Frazier, who suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon nine months ago, and who will see his first game minutes since November 2012.
“Physically, he’s at 100%. Mentally, he’s probably 85%-90%,” he said.
When Frazier spoke to the media, his first words were “I feel great.” When talking about his mentality, though, he understood where Chambers was coming from. He said, “The things you can’t do right away kind of get to you.”
Frazier also joked about getting to Europe and finally understanding his former roommate Sasa Borovnjak — who was just signed to a pro team in Greece — a little better.
A big question of the day was about a recent tweet from Coach Chambers that mentioned Tim and D.J. Newbill butting heads and ending up in the emergency room. Frazier received 12 stitches and Newbill had to get 16. Frazier said that was the only day he hasn’t worked out, and only because he wasn’t allowed to, and that both guys are back on the court.
The team beings its trip with a game against Okapi Aalstar 2 on August 12 in Belgium. Check out the rest of its schedule here.