As the summer wears on we’re quickly getting closer to when a number of teams will head overseas for their foreign exhibition trip. Part of the appeal behind these trips, besides being able to do something interesting and visiting some exotic locales, is to allow teams to develop while competing against foreign competition. The additional games and practices can prove beneficial, especially as it allows teams to get their new players some minutes on the court and help pick up the system.
Next month the Wisconsin Badgers will head overseas to New Zealand and Australia, their first foreign trip since they went to Canada in 2013. College teams are allowed to travel internationally once every four years.
The overseas trip should prove beneficial as the Badgers will be sporting a new look lineup after losing four starters. With so many fresh faces this season, next month’s exhibition trip will allow head coach Greg Gard to experiment with his rotations and get some valuable playing time for his team.
"With such an influx of newcomers on the roster this year, this is really an ideal time for a trip like this," said Gard. "The experience we'll gain is invaluable. The extra practices and travel experiences can expedite team bonding and chemistry and then obviously the games will give our guys a great chance to get their feet wet."
The Badgers will depart on the 12th and return on the 24th, playing five games while overseas. In New Zealand the Badgers will face the New Zealand Breakers and Tauranga City Basketball. Interestingly enough, former Badger Kirk Penney plays for the Breakers, entering his 15th season professionally.
After facing Tauranga City Basketball Wisconsin will fly over to Australia for three more games against Hawthorne, Melbourne United and Sydney Kings.