Tigers Prepare For Italian National Team
BORMIO, Italy — The LSU men’s basketball team begins play on its exhibition tour of Italy here Thursday in this northern Italian ski resort city.
The Tigers play the Italian National Team in a game scheduled for a 9 p.m. start in Italy, 2 p.m. CDT in Louisiana.
The opening foe is a formidable one for the under-manned LSU team as the Italians are the 2000 European Champions and will play the United States in the second game of the Olympics on Sept. 19 in Sydney. Many people consider that the Italian team will be one of the favorites to make the medal round and is predicted to come home with the bronze medal.
“They are a very tough team. They would win the SEC,” said LSU Associate Coach Kermit Davis, Jr. “We’ve had two more good practices since we’ve been here. We just need to play a little bit of 5-on-5 since we haven’t been able to do that since we only have nine players.”
Davis said the team after arriving on Monday, had a wonderful day of sightseeing on Tuesday in Milan, before busing some 4 hours north to Bormio.
“This is a very nice resort town. It’s a lot like Aspen,” David remarked. “A lot of the national teams have trained here in the past or are training here now because of the altitude.”
The Tigers are expected to have two former starters in the starting lineup on Thursday evening with Torris Bright at point guard and Brian Beshara at one forward. Brad Bridgewater will get the nod at the center position with Collis Temple, Ronald Dupree and Jermaine Williams splitting the time at the other two positions.
LSU will face another member of the 12-team Olympic field on Friday when it takes on the Olympic team from Angola.
The team returns home from Italy, Aug. 17.