Aug. 9, 2004

Park Ridge, IL – The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Foreign Tour Team departs for a five-game tour through France and Italy on Tuesday under the reins of a new head coach, as Penn State assistant Kurt Kanaskie will fill that role after PSU head coach Ed DeChellis underwent minor surgery over the weekend and is unable to travel. The 2004 Foreign Tour team, which includes 12 players from all 11 League schools, will be abroad through August 20 before returning home.

The squad will wrap up a three-day training session on the campus of Penn State University today and will depart on Tuesday, August 10, arriving in Nice, France, the next morning. After two days of rest, the squad will open competition with consecutive games against French club teams. The tour opener will take place on Friday, August 13, as the Big Ten squad will be challenged by the Frejus Basketball Club. The second game will feature a matchup against the Marseille-Fos Basketball Club on Saturday, August 14. The Big Ten contingent departs for Italy on August 15 and resumes competition against the Casale Monferrato Basketball Club on Monday, August 16. After another day off, the team wraps up the tour with back-to-back games against the Casalpusterlengo Basketball Club on Wednesday, August 18, and the Cremona Basketball Club on Thursday, August 19. The Big Ten Foreign Tour team will return to the United States on Friday, August 20.

The future of the Big Ten will be on display overseas as seven of the 12 players have completed two or fewer seasons of college basketball. The League’s last Foreign Tour Team in 2002 produced seven eventual All-Big Ten selections and built a 4-1 record with games in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Conference office has sent teams overseas in 11 of the last 13 years, compiling an overall record of 46-29 and a mark of 10-1 during the last two trips in 2001 and 2002.