Mizzou Back To Practice July 23, Prepare For European Tour

MUTIGERS.COM Michael Dixon and the Tigers travel to Europe next month.
Michael Dixon and the Tigers travel to Europe next month.

July 18, 2012

Columbia, Mo. -

Missouri Basketball continues its early start to the 2012-13 season next week when Head Coach Frank Haith's club returns to practice on July 23 at Mizzou Arena in advance of the program's five-game, 10-day tour of Europe.

Led by the return of Laurence Bowers, Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon, the new-look Tigers will have several newcomers being called upon to make an immediate impact, including four four-year transfers on scholarship (Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross) as well as a large class of five available newcomers. Overall the Tigers should boast improved depth compared to last year's rotation of seven players and the early start should benefit those first-year Tigers as they adjust to a new system.

The tour begins on Aug. 8 and a departure via St. Louis's Lambert International Airport. The team departs St. Louis early in the afternoon and makes one connecting stop in Detroit before arriving on the morning of Aug. 9 in Amsterdam (approximately 9 a.m. local time). There is a seven hour difference between Columbia and Amsterdam, Netherlands, so for the team it will feel like a 2 a.m. arrival, completing a more than 12-hour day of travel time.

The first day in Europe includes and afternoon bus tour of the city and several activities to help the team overcome jetlag and acclimate to the different time zone.

Missouri opens play on Aug. 10 vs. Rotterdam, a team consisting of local professionals and club players in the area. The game time is still being finalized but will be played after the team visits the Anne Frank House and has an opportunity to shop and sightsee to allow for an extended period of time to get acclimated to the time change. It's approximately 49 miles from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and the team will have a charter bus to take them throughout the tour.

Missouri will return to action on Aug. 11 vs. the Netherlands' U24 Squad. Expected to be one of the tougher challenges for the Tigers, especially during an Olympic year, the U24 team will be made up of professionals from all over Europe who have returned home for national team training. Game time vs. the U24 squad is 8 p.m. (1 p.m. in CT). Before the game tournament organizers will take the Tigers on a tour of the Zaanse Schans, which is a neighborhood of historic windmills dating as far back to the 1500s.

Other stops on the tour on Aug. 11 include the Vincent Van Gogh Art Museum in Amsterdam.

The team will check out of its hotel in Amsterdam and travel to Bruges, Belgium, on Aug. 12. The team is scheduled to depart Amsterdam at approximately 10 a.m. (local) and arrive in Bruges about four hours later. After lunch and a sightseeing tour in Bruges the team will travel roughly 35 miles to Gent (also spelled Ghent) where they will stay for two nights.

Sightseeing options in Bruges include the Diamond Museum, the Belfrey Tower and a Brugge Canal boat tour.

The team is back in action on Aug. 13 (Monday) with a game against Waregem. Waregem finished atop the Belgium Division II standings with a 20-6 mark last season and should provide another strong test for the new-look Tigers. Game time vs. Waregem is still TBA.

Mizzou faces the Gent Dragons on Aug. 14, its final full day in Belgium before an Aug. 15 departure for Paris, France. The team will leave the hotel early on Aug. 15 and travel 300 km (187 miles) to Pairs for the final leg of the tour. The team will have an opportunity to make tour stops at the Eifel Tower and the Sacre Coeur, a historic church in the city.

A second day of tours on Aug. 16, including stops at the Musse D'Orsay (historic Paris Railroad station), the Louvre (boasting one of the world's more important art collections) and the Bateaux Mouche (open air Seine River tour) highlight the day. The team may also attempt to find a local gym for a brief workout/practice in advance of the final game of the trip on Friday.

The team then finishes up its five-game tour at 7 p.m. on Aug. 17 vs. Cergy. Last season Cergy was 15-11 and are a second division club in France.

Missouri will depart Paris on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 18) and arrive in St. Louis at approximately 9 p.m. The team will clear customs through Atlanta and will have one final day of rest before the start of classes on Aug. 20.

Note: Many game times on the tour are being finalized by the host teams and full game reports will be available on mutigers.com after the contest. Most game facilities are not likely to have an available internet connection for live game updates.



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