Iowa men's basketball preps for Europe

BY MATT CABEL | AUGUST 02, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s basketball team is headed overseas. 

The team will leave Aug. 11 for six exhibition games in Europe and France beginning on Aug. 13. The Hawkeyes will play two matches against the London Lions on Aug. 13 and 14 before traveling to France. They’ll play the AMW All Stars on Aug. 16 and St. Quentin on Aug. 17, both in Paris. 

The basketball team will round out the trip with two more games in France, against Hyères-Toulon Basket on Aug. 19 and Fos-Ouest Basket on Aug. 20. The games will be played in Toulon and Fos Sur Mer, France. 

“It’s a mid-business trip,” guard Devyn Marble said. “You can enjoy more of the scenery than we could during the Bahamas trip [during the 2012 season], where there was a lot more on the line.”

For junior Gabe Olaseni, the trip provides his family with the opportunity to see him play basketball for the first time in his Hawkeye uniform. Olaseni is a native of London, and his parents haven’t been able to travel to see him play in America.

While Olaseni may be the team’s tour guide (and interpreter in Britain), forward Aaron White will be the team’s docent to the differences of international basketball after traveling with Team USA to Russia for the World University Games.

White said the international game is more physical than what he was used to, referring to it as a “free for all underneath the basket.” He compared playing defense to the NBA, where you can’t touch your defender, and instead have to use your chest to push against their bodies. 

“It’s a weird physical,” he said. “They don’t call pushes and stuff under the basket on rebounds, but they’ll call ticky-tack stuff up top.” 

White said traveling calls could also be an issue for his teammates — it will be the biggest thing he stresses to his teammates. International referees want players to put the ball down before they move their feet — another difference from the American style of basketball. 

“Everyone teaches to sweep and get as far as you can with that one dribble,” White said.

“[Internationally], you can’t really do that.” 

Marble said the trip to Europe doesn’t mean much to him individually — his approach will be more so as a teammate. He expects the trip to be beneficial for team chemistry and for players such as Jarrod Uthoff, Peter Jok, and Kyle Meyer to get some playing time.

The NCAA allotted the team 10 full practices before the trip, the first of which occurred Wednesday evening. It was the first time the complete team was together for the summer — senior Melsahn Basabe chose to spend the summer in his hometown of Glen Cove, N.Y. 

Junior shooting guard Josh Oglesby believes the trip will be good for everyone on the team, and will give him a chance to figure out how to react when his shooting starts out cold. 

“I heard coach is going to try to stick with five guys to a game and let them stay out there,” Oglesby said. “If they’re missing shots, they can figure out what they’re doing. 

“That’s big for me going into it — if I miss my first couple of shots, I get down and usually don’t play as much. But now going overseas, I can stay in the game when I’m missing a couple of shots and figure out what I’m going to do.”

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