Purdue basketball players will get a little extra time to bond on a trip to Italy this summer.
NCAA rules stipulate that once every four years, a team can go overseas. The benefits of such a trip include the ability to bond as a team and get an extra ten practices.
In an email, Purdue Supervisor of Basketball Operations Elliot Bloom confirmed the trip to Italy but said that "no details could be confirmed."
"We are planning on going to Italy," Bloom said. "We have not put any details together yet. We go on a foreign trip every 4 years."
These trips can be especially beneficial for freshman. Ronnie Johnson, a 2012 freshman, said he is excited for a summer trip to Italy. In past trips, freshman were not allowed to travel with the team, but under new NCAA rules they are allowed to if enrolled in class. With the graduation of three seniors, the four man recruiting class, ranked No. 18 in the country by Scout.com, will have a chance to gain crucial practice experience.
"I really want to work on getting stronger and working on my handle," Johnson said. "I'm really excited about the trip to Italy."
The last time Purdue went on a trip overseas was when Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E'twaun Moore were sophomores. The Boilers went to Australia. Last summer, the Purdue women's team went to Europe, an experience head coach Sharon Versyp said significantly helped the program.
"We really bonded this summer," Versyp said in November. "It really helped to make our team chemistry that much better."
The results appear to show a summer basketball trip improves a team's performance the following season. In an analysis done by SportingNews.com, a team who traveled overseas averaged 2.5 wins more a year the following season.
The Purdue men's basketball team is next in action tomorrow against Penn State. The Boilers will celebrate Senior Night.