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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M men’s basketball geared up for European tour

Vanessa Peña

Senior guard, Anthony Collins driving to the basket in A&M’s final practice before taking 10 day European tour. 

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team will head overseas Thursday to embark on a 10 day European tour in which they will play four exhibition games in Italy and Greece.

The first stop for the Aggies will be Rome, and from there they will visit the cities of Latina, Sorrento and Pompeii before finally wrapping things up in Athens, Greece.

Head coach Billy Kennedy said this early in the season the goals set for the team in the next 10 days focus mainly on coming together as a team and building stronger bonds.

“The biggest thing is we’re going to develop hopefully some strong relationships so that our chemistry will be tight to help us have a special season,” Kennedy said.

Senior transfer guard Anthony Collins said he is looking forward to the experience not only because of the beautiful venues and competitive play, but also to get to know his new teammates better.

“I just want to get to know everyone. I feel like the better chemistry we have, the better team we are going to be,” Collins said.

A&M’s senior forward Jalen Jones, who has stepped up into a leadership role on the team, said he is confident in the group the Aggies will work with this season.

Coach Kennedy affirmed Jones’ confidence in the team and had high praise for the Aggie seniors.

“Our four seniors are really really good,” said Kennedy. “We have a really good recruiting class. The three [seniors] that played [for us] last year are three of the best in the SEC so they’re back and they’ve gotten better so I’m proud of the leadership that they’ve taken on this team.”

In addition to the returning group of veterans, A&M will  be introducing a high-caliber freshman class as well. The amount of talent the team has to offer is a testament to good recruiting and, in turn has benefitted the coaching staff.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that can score the basketball, we’ve got depth in the post, I like our guard play,” said Kennedy. “We’ve got guys who can score so it makes it easier to coach when you don’t have to draw up a play every possession to score.”

Obviously the objective of the tour is for the Aggies to play against some great competition and grow closer as a team, however it would be tough for anyone to not be excited about travelling to some beautiful European cities. Freshman forward, Elijah Thomas did not hesitate when he was asked about what he is most looking forward to off of the court.

“I’m excited,” said Thomas. “My favorite food is pasta and [we’re going to Italy] so I can’t wait to get my first bowl of pasta when we get out there.”

The Aggies will return home to College Station on August 23rd and shift their focus to USC Upstate who they host in their regular season opener on November 13th.

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