The Wisconsin men’s basketball team leaves Saturday on a 12-day, 5-game tour of New Zealand and Australia.
College basketball teams re allowed to travel internationally during the summer once every four years, and for Wisconsin, the 2017 trip marks the team’s first since touring Canada in 2013.
That season, the Badger were faced with replacing most of their starting lineup and breaking in a host of inexperienced players like Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig. The Canadian tour served as a springboard for the team’s historic run to the 2014 Final Four seven months later.
This season, Wisconsin is in a similar position as it looks to replace four starters from a year ago and integrate six newcomers to the active roster. That group includes incoming freshmen Kobe King, Brad Davison & Nathan Ruevers.
The Badgers trip will begin in Auckland, New Zealand, with a contest against the New Zealand Breakers on Aug. 15. One familiar face on the Breakers roster is former Badger Kirk Penney, who starred at UW from 2000-03 and has spent five seasons playing for his hometown Auckland team. Penney enters his 15th professional season in 2017-18.