The Clemson men's basketball team will be getting an early start this summer.
The Tigers will leave August 8 for a 10-day tour Italy, which will include games against four Italian professional teams.
Under NCAA rules, Brad Brownell's team will get 10 practices prior to the trip.
A recent study has shown that international travel, which is permitted once every four seasons, has a significant positive impact for the teams taking advantage of the opportunity.
A sample of 27 teams that took international tours between 2006 and 2010 showed that they won, on average, two more games than in the season preceding the trip.
The international experience is particularly valuable for teams blending newcomers into their core lineup groups.
If freshmen are declared eligible by the NCAA and complete summer school classes, they’re allowed to practice and compete on the trip.
Clemson has four newcomers arriving this summer: freshmen Sidy Djitte, Patrick Rooks and Austin Ajukwa, plus junior college center Ibrahim Djambo. Also, the Tigers have a redshirt freshman, Jaron Blossomgame, who has practiced with the team, but has not yet played, and a sophomore, Devin Coleman, who will be working his way back into the mix after missing all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury.