The FAU men’s basketball team began practice tonight in preparation for their summer tour in Europe. Everyone will be on the hiatus with the lone aside of incoming freshman Pablo Bertone, who is still working through some paperwork.
Bertone will join the team at the start of the semester, but incoming freshman Dennis Mavin (photo) suited up for his first practice as an Owl.
Sat down today with Coach Jarvis to get the ins and outs of the trip, and it appears that the team will be quite busy during the 10 day journey.
While plans call for playing in four to five games against a variety of opponents, the squad and coaching staff will also use off days to go site seeing and gain insight into the local cultures and ways of life.
As far as basketball goes, Jarvis says he will use the time to evaluate.
“The main thing is the time we have together, the ten days we have to practice, and to prepare for the trip”, said Jarvis. To get a look in terms of where the kids are – who is improved from last year, who has worked hard, and who has matured.”
The team still doesn’t know who they will be playing against on the tour, and likely won’t know until they get there. However, there will be a variety of skill.
“Very seldom do you worry about the competition. There will be some nights where we are playing teams that aren’t very good, and some nights will be playing teams that are too good”, Jarvis said. “I want the games to be competitive, whether we win them or not is not that important.”
Triangular lanes and a slightly different style of play to that of the states will be the norm for the stint of the trip. Not only the court is different, but European play has often drawn a comparison of being more mechanical in nature and less creative. However, Jarvis says the trend has lessened over the past few years.
Here’s what current Phoenix Sun forward Josh Childress, who also played overseas in the Euroleague, had to say about the difference between USA basketball and European Basketball:
While Childress mostly offers a NBA vantage, there are some good takeaways to be had.
Perhaps the biggest difference to deal with will be lack of information on the opposition. Whereas tape and film exists for even the lowliest of the Owls competition here, there will likely be nothing on the opponents in Europe other than the jersey number they are wearing. So, while this week of extra practice is beneficial in development for the long term, it really won't be able to be used for specific team match-ups.
“You come in, you’re playing against a team you’ve probably never seen before. You don’t know anything about them and as the game goes on, you adjust”, explained Jarvis.
The Owls will depart for Europe on August 11th with scheduled stops in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.