WVU, Illinois Set to Play Game in Italy for the Troops

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WVU, Illinois Set to Play Game in Italy for the Troops
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WVU Coach Bob Huggins and Deniz Kilicli, one of the few returning players for the Mountaineers

Most new guys spend a few hours a day together when they come to a new university and start summer practices.

The West Virginia men's basketball team will be spending every second together.

They better get used to it.

On Aug. 8, West Virginia will be heading to Italy for a short series of games across the sea. It just so happens that Illinois will be in the same city on the same day the Mountaineers are.

The Mountaineers are scheduled to play the Illinois Men's Basketball team on the 17th at an event to entertain U.S. soldiers stationed in Venice, Italy.

The activities will include a basketball clinic hosted by the West Virginia team for ages 12 and under as well as an opportunity for the U.S. Military athletic teams to take on the Mountaineers during a series of short scrimmages.

There will also be a slam dunk contest hosted by the student athletes, which new arrival Aaric Murray will not be participating in, as NCAA player transfer rules do not allow him to attend the trip to Italy.

The day will finish with WVU taking on Illinois in a scrimmage that will consist of two 10-minute halves.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Senior Kevin Jones has the chance to put up great numbers this season

According to Rusty Bryan of Europe SportsBlog on Stripes.com, the events will take place at Aviano Air Base just outside Venice, Italy. Both teams will play their military counterparts for 10 minutes. The youth camp is free and will be open to children ages 5 to 18 with proper military identification, the scrimmages, will also be free.

The NCAA had granted a waiver to disregard a rule that wouldn't allow two collegiate teams in the United States to play each other before the beginning of the season, but because of the nature of the event, the NCAA decided to allow it.

The Mountaineers team which consists of many new faces with only Darryl "Truck" Bryant, Kevin Jones and Deniz Kilicli returning to the team from last season. Forward Kevin Noreen is returning but only played a few minutes last season before being redshirted.

Though they have a lot of learning to do to pick up the new style of up-tempo offense WVU head coach Bob Huggins is trying to incorporate this season, the Mountaineers head coach is somewhat encouraged by their recent development.

Despite their lack of experience, this new Mountaineers team is loaded with talent and is pushing hard to get into rhythm and start winning games.

West Virginia is also expected to play against some other athletics teams during their trip to Italy, a full schedule will be released on Aug. 8.

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