The Virginia Cavaliers basketball team will tour Spain from August 8th to August 18th to complete in exhibition games against local teams. The trip is part of an NCAA provision that allows programs to make foreign tours no more than once every four years.
Besides the obvious benefit of playing extra competitive games before the start of the season, the trip will be key extra time for the players and coaches to learn about different lineups and build chemistry, especially important for a young team with multiple new pieces. As part of the trip, the team is allowed 10 extra days of preseason practice.
"The tour itself is really good for just growing your team chemistry and experiencing an unbelievable culture from an educational standpoint," Tony Bennett told VirginiaSports.com’s Jeff White, "and then seeing some guys in competitive settings."
Bennett and strength coach Mike Curtis also explained what he learned from the team’s 2012 tour, noting that they would work to prevent burnout from the additional time.
Though the team departs Monday, details of its itinerary are scant. The Richmond Times Dispatch’s Mike Barber reported that UVA would play five games and travel to Madrid, Costa Blanca, and Barcelona.
Before Virginia’s last foreign trip, when the team visited the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, the athletics department released a full schedule two weeks before departure. And eager Wahoo fans were even able to stream some of the games, as we got our first looks at Mike Tobey, Justin Anderson, and Evan Nolte. Additionally, fans were able to follow the group’s travels in an online “European Blog.” We’ll keep you updated if and when more details are released about this year’s trip.