The itinerary is still being finalized, and the opponents are still being lined up. But the trip abroad, allowed once every four years under NCAA rules, is significant in that it will allow the team additional supervised practice sessions in early August, as well as a high level of international competition to grill the team in preparation for the upcoming hoops season.
"I don't know how many games we're playing, or who we're playing or anything," said senior forward Matt Freije. "I just know we get to go, so I'm pretty excited. I think the whole team is really excited. It'll be a good chance for us to all experience something together and have a lot of fun."
Vanderbilt's men's team last took a trip abroad in August, 1999, before Stallings' first year as head coach. That European trip was credited with helping the players jell as a team under Stallings' leadership, and the squad compiled a 19-11 record in the 1999-2000 season, the best mark in the past five seasons.
The Commodores return 11 scholarship players from a team that went 11-18 in 2002-03. The only losses were center Brian Thornton, who transferred to Xavier, and walk-on guard Matt Carter, who graduated.