Kansas men’s basketball summer tour in Italy to be broadcast

Posted on Jul 6, 2017 in News and Sports

KU men's basketball tour of Italy, 2017

Fans who cannot make the trip to Italy with the Kansas men’s basketball team in early August will nonetheless have the opportunity to watch the Jayhawks play.

KU will play four games while touring Italy, and the Jayhawk IMG Radio Network will broadcast the games. FloSports will pair Brian Hanni and Greg Gurley’s radio call with a video stream so KU fans can also watch the games live only on FloHoops.com. Fans will need to purchase a monthly or annual subscription to access the live coverage and archived games. Information about subscriptions will be released soon.

The first two contests are in Rome, August 2 and 3; the final two are in Milan, August 5 and 6. The matchups in Rome will tip at 6:30 p.m. local, 11:30 a.m. Central time; the two games in Milan will start at 7 p.m. local, noon Central.

In Rome the Jayhawks will play Stella Azzurra, a team consisting of 18 and 19 year olds from Rome clubs, on August 2 at Honey Sports City (HSC). The following day, KU will face the Players Group, which consists of a team being organized by Vittorio Gallinari, father of NBA player Danilo Gallinari. The venue for the Aug. 3 game has yet to be determined.

On August 5 in Milan, the Jayhawks face the Players Group for the second time at PalaSport Enrico Somaschini (PalaPorada) and Italy All Star A2 the following day in the same location. The Italy All Star A2 squad will consist of players from the Lega Basket Serie (LBA) professional men’s basketball league from the A2 level. Basketball Travelers Inc. is coordinating the trip and tickets can be purchased day of game at the competition venue at a price of 5 euro.

In Rome, KU’s sightseeing tours will include the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. In Milan, the contingent will tour the Cathedral Duomo and take a boat tour of Lake Como.

Preseason top 10, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team (16-2 Big 12) that tied an NCAA record by winning KU’s 13th-consecutive conference regular-season title. KU entered the NCAA Tournament a No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year and advanced to the Elite Eight. Senior guards Devonté Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are the returning starters; junior guard Lagerald Vick, a regular on last season’s team, also returns. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike started six of his 11 games played before being injured last season, and sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot could also increase his playing time in 2017-18.

KU welcomes nine newcomers to the team with two – sophomore guards Malik Newman and Sam Cunliffe – having already been on campus. Newman transferred to KU from Mississippi State following the 2016-17 season. Cunliffe hit the KU campus following the fall 2016 semester after transferring from Arizona State. Newman will be eligible immediately, while Cunliffe can play in regular-season games after the fall 2017 semester; Cunliffe will play for the Jayhawks in Italy. Freshmen Billy Preston, a McDonald’s All-America, and guard Marcus Garrett, the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, will provide immediate depth for the upcoming season.

Three other Jayhawk transfers will compete in Italy but will sit the KU sidelines in 2017-18. They are California guard Charlie Moore, and Memphis guard/forward brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson. All had solid seasons in 2016-17 before coming to KU.

Since 2004 Kansas has won 17 of 19 exhibition games outside the United States under head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks went a combined 7-0 in Canada in 2004 (4-0) and 2008 (3-0). In 2012 KU went 2-2 while touring Switzerland and Paris. KU’s most recent trip was in 2015, when the Jayhawks won the gold medal at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, posting an 8-0 record.

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