BYU Basketball will take a European trip to Italy and Croatia this summer, Jeff Goodman reported Monday morning. The expected dates are August 18-27.
Sources tell me that BYU is expected to play 3 or 4 games versus professional teams in the area. College hoops programs are allowed to do an international trip once every four years. BYU’s last trip was the summer before Mark Pope’s first season in 2019 when the team went to Italy and played in four games.
This will be a great opportunity for BYU to gel on the court and bond off it. BYU will break in new transfers Ques Glover, Dawson Baker, Aly Khalifa, and likely one other. This will be a chance for them to mesh with the core returnees against pro competition. BYU’s season opener will likely be November 6 after two exhibitions/scrimmages, so getting a jump start in August versus different teams will allow Pope to tinker with different concepts and rotations. Maybe even more important, the team will be able to build chemistry off the court. That 2019-2020 team referred back to their Italy trip as one of the key foundational pieces to the season.
Going international will also present NIL opportunities for guys such as Fouss, Atiki, and Aly Khalifa, whose visas limit domestic NIL opportunities but have fewer restrictions outside US borders.
While in Croatia, BYU may also see the Kresimir Cosic statue in Zadar. Cosic is, of course, one of the greatest players in BYU basketball history and a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.