Villanova's men's basketball team will depart for Europe on Sunday and will finish the last of their ten practice sessions allowed by the NCAA this week. Once they depart, they will first head to Paris, France for two exhibition games on August 9 and 10. After that Parisian-warm-up, the Wildcats will play in a competition dubbed "EuroJam 2011" in Amsterdam from August 12 through 14. There, they will take on the senior national teams of Israel, Georgia and the Netherlands.
A number of NBA players will be on the rosters of those opponents as well as professionals from other international leagues. The pros will include Dan Gadzuric (Nets/Dutch), Francisco Elson (Jazz/Dutch) and Omri Casspi (Cavaliers/Israeli).
Former NCAA and NBA coach, Dr. Hal Wissel is no stranger to the concept of NCAA basketball teams playing against foreign national teams. At Fordham University, his Rams faced the Canadian National team at Madison Square Garden, and travelled to Santo Domingo to play the Dominican Republic.
"International competition helps players and fans develop a better understanding of each other." Wissel noted. "I expect the better European international teams such as Georgia and Isreal. Italy to be favored to defeat NCAA teams such as Villanova. However, Villanova is very well coached and could pull off an upset against these teams."
Omri Casspi is apparently dating Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli, who would be more distracting in the stands than the Tri-Delts that Villanova is used to seeing behind the basket.
We confirmed this morning that there are no plans to offer live video streaming of the games from this trip. Villanova's media relations department will be using Twitter, a blog and photo galleries to provide information to fans from Europe. VUhoops also plans to provide coverage of the EuroJam 2011 tournament.