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Reports: Hoosiers headed to Bahamas for summer exhibitions

Back-to-back trips to Hawaii in 2015 and 2016 gave us Island Tom. Now, get ready for Island Mike.

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All spring, new Indiana men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson talked about his excitement for getting his whole 2021-22 team on the court together for an initial round of workouts. This summer, he’ll have more practices on the docket than he first expected.

That’s because the Hoosiers are headed to the Bahamas for the program’s first international trip since a series of games in Quebec and Ontario, Canada in 2014. According to the Atlantis Paradise Island web site, along with multiple reports, IU is scheduled to play Serbia’s BC MEGA on August 13 and 15 at the resort. Indiana has yet to announce if and when there will be additional games on the tour.

The NCAA allows schools to take a foreign trip once every four years. Before Tom Crean’s 2014-15 IU team embarked for Montreal, Indiana’s last international getaway was a 2007 trip to Nassau.

With six new players (including Parker Stewart, a mid-year transfer this past winter) set to join the playing rotation under a new coaching staff, Indiana’s timing makes great sense. Not only does a weeklong getaway to paradise allow for bonding opportunities between teammates and coaches, but it also affords IU extra on-court practices in preparation for the trip. These tours are usually reserved for transitional offseasons when, just as in Indiana’s case, a coach is preparing to implement a new system or introduce new players to the mix.

And, perhaps in some way, a trip to the Bahamas helps make up for the flight to Hawaii that IU lost last fall when the Maui Invitational was moved to Asheville, N.C.

Hopefully, we’ll find out soon if any of these games will be streamed to satisfy our craving for sloppy and sweaty summer basketball.