The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team arrived in France last week without Penn State mentor Ed DeChellis, who missed the trip after minor surgery and was replaced on the bench by PSU assistant Kurt Kanaskie. The League squad picked up a pair of wins in France before traveling to Italy and splitting two games before the tour finale on Thursday.
In the last game, the Big Ten squad fell behind in the first quarter for the third straight outing, as Cremona held the team to only 11 points for a 17-11 advantage. The visitors responded to narrow the gap to three points at the half (39-36) and two points after the third stanza (57-55) but could not overcome the first-quarter deficit as the hosts held on for the six-point victory. At least four Big Ten players scored in double figures in every game of the trip, a trend that continued against Cremona. Purdue's Brandon McKnight topped the squad in scoring for the first time with 14 points while also leading the squad in assists for the third game with a team-high five helpers. Minnesota's Dan Coleman added a personal tour-best of 13 points while Indiana's Marshall Strickland and Wisconsin's Clayton Hanson chipped in with 11 points apiece. Hanson and Michigan State's Delco Rowley both collected a team-high six rebounds.
The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team outscored its opponents by more than 10 points per contest (89.8 to 79.0) during the five-game trip. The Badgers' Hanson became the first UW player in tour annals to lead the squad in scoring as he poured in a team-best 56 points in five outings to average 11.2 points per game. The Wisconsin senior tallied double figures in three of five contests, including a tour-high 17 points in the victory over Marina Traviglia on August 16. Three other League standouts averaged more than 10 points per game, including Penn State's Marlon Smith (10.6), the Hoosiers' Strickland (10.4) and Iowa's Adam Haluska (10.2). The Spartans' Rowley grabbed a team-leading 28 rebounds (5.6 rpg) while the Boilermakers' Knight dished out 21 assists (4.2 apg).
The future of the Big Ten was on display overseas as seven of the 12 players had 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 now sent teams overseas in 12 of the last 14 years, compiling an overall record of 49-31 (.613) and a mark of 13-3 (.813) during the last three trips in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team departed Italy on Friday and returns to the United States this weekend.
2004 BIG TEN MEN'S BASKETBALL FOREIGN TOUR SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Date Result Opponent/Event Site
Aug. 10 Depart for France
Aug. 11 NO GAME
Aug. 12 NO GAME
Aug. 13 W, 84-78 Frejus Basketball Club Frejus, France
Aug. 14 W, 103-68 Marseille-Fos Basketball Club Marseille, France
Aug. 15 Depart for Italy
Aug. 16 W, 95-74 Marina Traviglia Basketball Club Casale Monferrato, Italy
Aug. 17 NO GAME
Aug. 18 L, 93-95 UCC Assigelo Basketball Club Casalpusterlengo, Italy
Aug. 19 L, 74-80 Cremona Basketball Club Cremona, Italy
Aug. 20 Depart for United States
2004 BIG TEN MEN'S BASKETBALL FOREIGN TOUR STATISTICS
Player School Pos. Year PPG RPG ILL F SO 9.6 4.4 Marshall Strickland IND G JR 10.4 3.0 Adam Haluska IOWA G SO 10.2 3.8 Amadou Ba MICH C SO 1.8 3.0 Delco Rowley MSU F SO 8.4 5.6 Dan Coleman MINN F SO 7.6 3.4 Davor Duvancic NU F SR 5.8 4.6 OSU C SR 4.4 3.2 PSU C SR 1.2 1.8 Marlon Smith PSU G SO 10.6 3.2 Brandon McKnight PUR G SR 9.0 3.4 Clayton Hanson WIS G SR 11.2 3.6