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WATCH: Shaka Smart talks Texas basketball’s Australia trip, preseason

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“We wanted to go somewhere where the competition was really stiff.”

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-West Virginia vs Texas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Even in the dog days of summer, Texas Longhorns basketball coach Shaka Smart is a busy man.

Smart is preparing his team for a preseason trip to Australia, which begins Saturday and lasts until Aug. 23.

Smart held a press conference on Thursday to talk about the trip and what’s going on with his ‘Horns basketball team:

While basketball may not be the first or even the tenth thing that comes to mind when most people think of Australia, Smart assures the gathered media that the teams Texas will play during the trip are pretty dang good.

For example, one of the teams, Melbourne United, will actually play a few NBA squads later this year.

“I told the guys that’s pretty neat,” Smart says. “You’ll literally be playing against the same team Russell Westbrook is playing against in a couple of months.”

If you’re wondering, the games will be played using FIBA international rules that are standard in Australia. The games are important, but with it being preseason Smart plans to play a good number of younger players and focus a little on the team-building aspect of the trip.

The team also took an “Australia class” to learn about the country before the trip. The class included some pretty interesting stuff, including videos of kangaroos fighting and “punching a guy,” which you can probably find on YouTube if you look hard enough.

Check out the vid up top for the rest of Smart’s comments.