KU basketball team headed to Europe in August for exhibition tour

LAWRENCE | For Kansas and Bill Self, the trip may come at the ideal time. The Kansas basketball team will take a nine-day trip to Europe in August, welcome news for a program that will be introducing at least six freshmen to the squad during the 2012-13 season.

Kansas, which unveiled details of the trip Thursday, will play two exhibition games against Switzerland’s national team on Aug. 7 and 8 in Fribourg, Switzerland, before finishing the trip with two games against French professional teams on Aug. 11 and 12 in Paris.

KU will leave August 5 and arrive in Zurich, Switzerland on Aug. 6. The traveling party is scheduled to depart back to the U.S. on Aug. 14.

Schools are allowed one international trip during the summer months every four years, in accordance with NCAA rules. The Jayhawks last made a summer trip before the 2008-09 season, when they played a series of exhibition games in Canada.

With KU eligible to take its allotted trip, Self hinted last month that a trip to Europe would be preferable.

“If we can go in the summer and take freshmen, which is the rule,” Self said, “why wouldn’t we go… do some sightseeing and actually enjoy each other?”

But in addition to bonding, there will also be extra court time.

The Canadian trip in 2008 followed the Jayhawks’ national championship season and featured a roster of young, inexperienced players. Four years later, the Jayhawks will head to Europe under similar circumstances. In addition to the exhibition games, KU will be allowed 10 practices before the trip.

To reach Rustin Dodd, send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/rustindodd.