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Tennessee basketball adds Italy trip, December non-conference game

A couple of tidbits.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee basketball had a couple of newsworthy items surface on Thursday afternoon. The program announced a 10-day tour of Italy during the summer, where they’ll play three exhibition games.

The Volunteers will play two games against the Lithuanian U21 National Team in Florence on August 4th and 5th. Tennessee will then face Italian club team A.S. Stella Azzurra in Rome on Aug. 7. These three games will serve as our first look a three key transfers — Chris Ledlum, Dalton Knecht and Jordan Gainey.

FloSports ($$) will stream all three games.

The team will also take a boat tour of Lake Como, a tour of the Florence Cathedral, and make stops at the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum and Vatican City, per the release.

Tennessee adds non-conference game with N.C. State

According to a report from Jon Rothstein, Tennessee will take on N.C. State on December 16th. The game is set to take place in San Antonio.

Tennessee is also set to play in the Maui Invitational during Thanksgiving week. They also have non-conference games scheduled at Wisconsin and against Illinois in Knoxville.

Once again, the Volunteers are looking like they’ll be playing a loaded non-conference slate, as they typically do every year. The Maui field features Gonzaga, Creighton, Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Syracuse and UCLA. They’ll get three big-time matchups from that tournament alone, well ahead of SEC play.

Tennessee won the Battle 4 Atlantis last season, and bring back that same veteran core this year. Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James are back, and Zakai Zeigler will eventually be back, coming off of his torn ACL. We’ll see if he’s available for these big early season games.

The Vols are old and battle-tested, which is why you’re already seeing them land in the top five of some rankings already.