Beshara Takes on Leadership Role in Italy
By Ryan Rogers
As the Tiger basketball team begins its exhibition tour of Italy, for most it is their first international experience. Not for Brian Beshara.
Last year Beshara traveled to Japan as a member of the All-SEC team. He enjoyed the experience but admitted something was missing, something that will be different this time around.
“The difference in Japan was I wasn’t with my teammates,” Said Beshara. “I wanted them to be out there with me. It was great to be in Japan and see another culture, but I missed my teammates. Now in Italy my teammates will be there. So we should all have a great experience.”
The Italy trip will be invaluable for a team redefining its look. They are gaining valuable practice time together in mid-summer while preparing for the tour. Second, they will play good quality teams in Italy which will help them evaluate where they stand.
Also, taking a trip of this sort will allow a team to be together and build solid team camaraderie. Finally, they will be traveling around one the world’s most culture-filled countries. The lesson’s they learn off the court in Italy will be more valuable to their lives.
Beshara is preparing to take on a new role in 2000-01. With the departure of Jabari Smith, Beshara step up as team captain.
“I’ve been here the longest and I just need to be a leader and lead by example. I need to do whatever comes to me as the right thing to help the team,” said Beshara.
Last season Beshara averaged 11 points and 5.1 rebounds a game as a starter for the Tigers. Beshara will have a larger role on the court also. The Tigers will likely go with a smaller lineup and a motion offense next year, similar to what they ran upon Coach John Brady‘s arrival. Beshara may be counted on for more production this year. This means Beshara will have to adjust along with the rest of his teammates.
“I’ve run the motion offense before so I know how it works. I just need to help everyone else learn the offense,” said Beshara. “We need be to be as sharp as possible when running this offense.”
LSU has been practicing hard over the last two weeks. The practices are helping the team get a feel for what they are looking at going into next year. They have been very helpful for Brad Bridgewater and Ronald Dupree. The two have big shoes to fill in the frontcourt with Smith and Stromile Swift both headed to the NBA. However, both Dupree and Bridgewater have had good showings in practice.
“I think they’ve gone pretty well. We’re all focused. We’ve had a good off-season of training. We are prepared for the Italy trip and we want to have a good showing in Italy.”
The Tigers seem to be focused and very excited about traveling to Italy. Win or lose, more important things will be accomplished on this trip.
“This trip will definitely help us tremendously in a lot of ways. We will be a much better and wiser team when we get back from Italy,” said Beshara.