Illinois State’s men’s basketball team is set to travel overseas for 11 days Aug. 7-17.

The NCAA allows teams to travel overseas every four years. Four years ago the Redbirds traveled to Spain for the same program. Along with the trip the ’Birds have 10 coinciding practice days.

Head coach Dan Muller knows the value of this trip from his days as a player.

“I can remember when I went on an overseas trip going into my senior year here at Illinois State,” Muller said “I remember going overseas and having a whole new perspective on the world. When you see different cultures, you better understand the history of some places.”

This experience will allow newcomers such as freshmen DJ Horne, Antonio Reeves, Harouna Sissoko and Malcolm Miller to get a taste for Muller’s system, while also integrating transfers like Dedric Boyd, Ricky Torres, Keith Fisher III and Jaycee Hillsman into game action.

Redshirt freshman Abdou Ndiaye, redshirt junior Lijah Donnelly and senior transfer Hank Beard will also potentially see their first action for the Redbirds, while redshirt sophomore Taylor Bruninga will return after being sidelined for the entire 2018-19 season with a foot injury.

Not only this, but the foreign trip also gives ISU a head start with some of the new rule changes in college basketball for the upcoming season.

The big rule change being implemented for this season is the movement of the three-point line from the original 20 feet, 9 inches from the center of the basket to the international distance of 22 feet, one and three-fourth inches.

This rule change is expected to decrease three-point percentages across the NCAA while also opening up the lane for drives and post moves.

The trip begins when the team flies from Chicago to Rome on Aug. 7.

After arriving early in the morning on Aug. 8, the ’Birds will have a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

More chances to see the city follow as the Redbirds will take part in a scavenger hunt around Rome on Friday, Aug. 9 and a tour of the coliseum the next day. Following the tour, the ’Birds will play their first exhibition game.

The next day (Aug. 11) the Redbirds will have a day to do whatever they please around Rome.

After the off-day, the team will travel to Florence for the second leg of the trip. While in Florence the ’Birds will take a Sunset Promenade Boat Ride on Aug. 12.

The following day the team will take a bike tour around the city followed by game two of the series.

Aug. 14 the Redbirds are scheduled to take a tour of Academia and see the Statue of David and Mercato San Lorenzo.

The ’Birds travel to Milan Aug. 15. A short sight-seeing trip in Milan will take place before leaving for Treviso where they will play the third and final game of the set.

After the third game, the Redbirds go to Venice on Aug. 16 for a tour of the city and a gondola ride.

The following morning the Redbirds return to Chicago to conclude the trip. Official practices will then start on Sept. 24, with gameplay beginning just over a month later.

JAKE SERMERSHEIM is a Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter at @JackSermersheim 

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