By Jordan Zuniga
On Aug. 6, the Iowa men’s basketball team will head to Frankfurt, Germany, to begin its 12-day, four-game European tour.
Over the course of the trip, the Hawkeyes will play two games in Germany, then one each in Switzerland and Italy.
All the Hawkeyes are excited to visit parts of Europe, but for one Hawkeye, the trip means a little bit more.
Dom Uhl is from Frankfurt, and for him, the trip allows him to see his mother for the first time since August.
“She’s is going to be at the airport,” Uhl said. “She’ll be coming up to Heidelberg to watch the game. That’s what I’m most excited for.”
For the rest of the Hawkeyes, the trip is a chance to prepare for the upcoming season and for head coach Fran McCaffery to better gauge the rotation.
The Hawkeyes will enter the season with an incredibly deep team, a challenge for McCaffery, and with the improvements some of the players have made during the off-season, crafting the rotation has become even harder.
“I’m a firm believer that over time, that will manifest itself,” he said. “What I’m going to try to do on this trip is a completely fair dispersal of playing time, not get into this is my starting lineup, this is my next three, this is my next three because nobody is in that last group. When we come back, it will be a pretty even situation in terms of who plays how many minutes.”
The even splits of minutes gives guys who struggled last season, such as Christian Williams and Uhl, a chance to prove they’re worthy of more minutes this year.
The trip also provides an opportunity for the young team to get better acquainted with each other; Iowa has gained four new freshmen over the summer.
“It should help us out to get used to the freshmen and get us comfortable with them and vice versa,” guard Jordan Bohannon said. “It should be a fun experience just to play teams there and get used to playing with each other on the court. It should be a lot of fun just to be around the guys and see the world.”
Jack Nunge, Luka Garza, Connor McCaffery, and walk-on freshman Austin Ash will travel with the team on the trip.
For several Hawkeyes, the trip will be their first experience leaving the United States, which will make the experience all the more special.
“This is my first time ever leaving the country, so I’m pretty excited,” Tyler Cook said. “Just being able to get out and see the rest of the world. A lot of guys haven’t left the country before. So I’m just looking forward to seeing stuff we haven’t seen before.”
Iowa’s first game will be on Aug. 8, when the Hawkeyes will take on the German All-Stars. The other three games will play include the Swiss All-Stars, the Milan All-Stars, and the Vicenza All-Stars.