Women’s basketball team comes back from Europe eager for season

Then junior forward Kansas State Breanna Lewis reaches for a rebound over Kansas guard Kylee Kopatich in Lawrence, Kansas January 20, 2016. (File photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The Kansas State women’s basketball team returned from a 12-day journey in Europe on Aug. 14. They visited Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia and Austria for exhibition basketball games.

During their trip, they played four games and went 2-2. The team included nine players, five being freshmen.

Head coach Jeff Mittie was pleased with the experience the team received during their trip.

“From a basketball perspective, the opportunity for the younger players to play extended minutes, play through fatigue, adversity in terms of their own personal play and in terms of how to help the team play better, to get that in August against another opponent is a great opportunity for them,” Mittie said to K-State Sports.

When the Wildcats first got to Rome, Italy, they won 79-47 against All-Star Italy. The next day, the Wildcats lost 43-37 to TK Hanover.

To end their exhibition rounds, the Wildcats traveled to Austria and played two games against BK Samorin. Even though the Wildcats lost the first game 84-76, they ended the trip with a 103-56 victory.

“Team-wise, I thought we played harder as the trip progressed, played faster,” Mittie said to K-State Sports. “I thought from a team perspective, offensively we had more assists as the games progressed. I felt like early it was a lot of individual plays, but as the trip continued, I think we understood how to play together better.”

Mittie enjoyed seeing his team’s collective skill progress over the course of the 12 days.

“I did think over the course of the trip that our shot selection got better. Early, it was just horrendous. Any shot was a good shot to our team early in the trip. By the end of the trip, they understood it better,” Mittie said to K-State Sports.

Mittie said he hopes his team can take their experiences from Europe over to American soil and be more hard-working and appreciative of what America has to offer.

“I think it opens our players’ eyes that there’s just a lot of ways to do things, a lot of countries out there that have good things in them,” Mittie said to K-State Sports. “I also think there’s an appreciation of what we have here in America. The conveniences that we have here that you take for granted, maybe we don’t take them for granted as much when we come back here.”

I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.