Reigning National Champions Getting Ready For Tokyo Trip

The reigning national champions of women's college basketball are getting a jump on the preseason with a trip to Japan coming up this month. The team is allowed 10 practices to prepare which is beneficial for a team with some new faces.

There will be a new look to the USC women's basketball team for the 2017-2018 season as a good number of players on the team are freshmen and sophomores.

The good news for head coach Dawn Staley is she has an extra 10 practices to work the newcomers into the system. With an overseas trip to Japan coming up this month, Staley has 10 allotted practices per NCAA rules. Five practices in and Staley says the team is starting to come together.

"It's a different air we're breathing," Staley said Friday after her team's fifth pre-Japan workout.

"Young, more than half of our team is composed of freshmen and sophomores. It will take some time for us to get our stuff in. But things are moving pretty quickly.

"Just being five practices in, you get to throw some things at them. We're putting in a lot of stuff because I want to see how quickly they can process information - how quickly we can move or how slow we need to go in the fall."

Staley said the newcomers have picked up the system pretty well which bodes well for the preseason.

"If it can continue this way, I think we can get our freshmen and sophomores up to speed to the pace of the season," she said.

"And that's kind of hard to assimilate but these practices this summer will allow us to do that."

The Japan trip will run from June 27 to July 5 and includ three exhibition games against the Japan National Team. It will be the Gamecocks’ first international trip under Staley.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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