When the Clemson men’s basketball team heads off to Italy on Saturday, its more of a business trip than what it has experienced the two previous times it went overseas.
The Tigers visited Italy in the summer of 2013 and then in 2017 it went to Spain. Yes, they did play basketball, but the trips were more educational trips than they were basketball trips.
This time around, Clemson is all business as it gets set to represent the United States in the World University Games next week in Italy.
“This is much different than kind of the trips to Spain and Italy that we have taken previously,” head coach Brad Brownell said. “Those were a little more sightseeing, and a little more adventure-driven and the basketball was a little bit secondary.”
Clemson will not have time to do much sightseeing this time around. The Tigers will play in Pool C of the World University Games, with their first game coming next Thursday (July 4) against Finland in Naples, Italy. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m., eastern standard time.
They will quickly turnaround and play their second game on July 5 against the Ukraine (7 a.m., EST) in Naples and then play Game 3 on July 6 vs. China at 11:30 a.m. (EST) in Aversa, Italy.
Medal Bracket play will begin July 8 and run through July 11. The World University Games run July 3-14.
“The practices were great (for the previous two trips), just like the practices for this (one) have been really good. But, obviously, when we get over there the basketball will take front-and-center stage,” Brownell said. “So, we will not do quite as much of the sightseeing and all the other things that you kind of get to do.
“It is a little bit different that way, but I think it will be good for this team.”