|The leaning tower of Eiffel? Mizzou's fellas have a photo op while the women to the right don't even notice. (Missouri Athletics)|
The Missouri men's basketball team is on a 10-day jaunt through Europe and we've enlisted two of their players -- point guard Phil Pressey and UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi -- to give us their thoughts throughout the trip.
Phil Pressey (@philpressey)
Finishing up our second day here in Paris and the highlight of the day without question was seeing the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go up the tower since they said the line was over two hours long, but the bus tour to see the city was good and our tour guide did a good job of giving us the history behind some of the main monuments and buildings here in the more historic parts of Paris.
It's too bad that the lines were so long at a few of the places because it would have been fun to check them out. Like I said, the line at the Eiffel Tower was about two hours long and the line at the Louvre wasn't manageable. I guess it's a holiday week over here and the tour guide said the town was filled with a lot of tourists … oh well. Maybe next time. Regardless, it was an educational experience and it was good having a chance to see and take pictures at such historical locations.
After the tour we had a workout in a ballroom. I am cleared to play, but I won't get a chance tomorrow. The coaches said it wasn't worth it, but I was able to participate in the full workout, which is a good sign. I felt really good and the workout was kind of funny since we had to use chairs to create some resistance during our push-ups and dips. Coach Pandov can make anything work and it was a good workout. I really just wish I could play tomorrow, but I know the staff and PB are looking long term.
After the workout some guys went shopping and checked out the area. We went across the street and ate a sandwich, which was horrible. They were supposed to cook the bacon and it was basically raw. The desserts over here are really good, but they do some different stuff with the rest of their food. We are about to hit dinner, so hopefully that will be better.
With that said I have really enjoyed Paris. They people have been nice and helpful. Maybe it's because we are basketball players, but I think everyone has had a good experience here.
We have couple of other teams in our hotel, the Duke and Pacific women's teams are here and they have enjoyed the city as well.
I want to give a shout out to Coach (Dave) Leitao for making it to dinner with us tonight. He had some old friends in town today, so he was with them during the morning, but he's back with us now, so I have to give him a hard time.
We have our final game tomorrow against a pro team from Paris. It should be a good game and it seems like each game we play the talent of the other team improves, so this will be a good test. We have some free time tomorrow, so I will probably just check out Paris one final time. It's crazy the shops they have here … Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry … they have it all. We went around and did some window shopping, but for college students, there wasn't much we could buy in those places. It was fun to check it out, though.
I'll talk to you guys tomorrow. Almost done with this trip and then back to school on Monday!
Alex Oriakhi (@aoriakhi42)
I guess we are slowly coming to the end of our blog series since this is our next to last night on the tour. We have our final game of the trip tomorrow and hopefully we can finish it off with another win.
Today we were typical tourists. We had a bus tour early in the morning and checked out some of the more popular spots in the city. Of course everyone wanted to get their picture with the Eiffel Tower in the background and we got that done. We also saw some of the more famous spots like the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame cathedral.
Those bus tours are a good chance for us to bond as a team. We have a lot of new parts on the roster and this trip has been invaluable as far as getting to know one another. We have a lot of characters on this team, guys like Mike Dixon and Tony Criswell. Those are two funny dudes and when they get going it's hard to get a word in. They just always have you cracking up, either by making fun of one another or just impersonating guys on the team.
After the tour we had a quick workout. We didn't have any weights, so Coach Pandov found an empty ballroom and we worked out in there. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. We did dips, abs, push-ups and guys got into it. Guys were getting loud, challenging each other and encouraging one another. It got so loud I can't imagine what the people out front checking in were thinking.
After the workout we just ate and watched videos. There are zero channels worth watching on TV here in the hotel, so we just watch Worldstarhiphop.com and Youtube. I think it was Jabari, Phil, Tony and I.
Tonight we have a team meal and then a boat tour. The boat tour should be fun since we'll see Paris at night. We walked around the city a little bit last night, but this will be a little more organized then allowing Keion to blindly lead the way to find food.
Like I said, tomorrow is our last game and it will be big for a lot of guys. I feel like I played with a lot more confidence on the offensive end and I know my teammates and coaches have a lot of confidence in me. Our goal is to finish with a win and then head back for the start of school.
I'm looking forward to the start of school this year. It will be my first semester at Mizzou, so I can't wait to see what it's like with everyone back on campus. I'm sure I'll get lost, even though I have been here for the last eight weeks.
If you see me, I'll be that old guy that looks like a freshman asking for directions, so if I look lost, I probably am.
Talk to you guys tomorrow.