Great Britain Olympic Men's Basketball Team 2012: Updated Roster & Analysis
Team GB head coach Chris Finch, formerly of the Houston Rockets, remains upbeat and optimistic despite receiving mixed news regarding his roster the past couple of weeks.
He's not going to have a couple of players who he felt would have dramatically helped the team.
Finch, though, put a good face on things and indicated this is still the best roster Team GB has ever put together. Of course, Great Britain's last Olympic appearance was in 1948.
A lot has changed since then.
The Final Roster
Achara, Kieron (Assignia, ESP)
Archibald, Robert (Zaragoza, ESP)
Boateng, Eric (Peristeri, GRE)
Clark, Dan (Estudiantes, ESP)
Deng, Luol (Chicago Bulls, USA-NBA)
Freeland, Joel (Unicaja, ESP)
Johnson, Kyle (APOEL, CYP)
Lawrence, Andrew (College of Charleston, USA-College)
Lenzly, Mike (CEZ Nymburk, CZE)
Mensah-Bonsu, Pops (Besiktas, TUR)
Reinking, Nate (Sheffield, ENG)
Sullivan, Andrew (Leicester, ENG)
Chris Finch, head
Paul Mokeski, assistant
Nick Nurse, assistant
No Ben Gordon.
No Bryon Mullens.
With the NBA connection cut in half, Team GB may be stuck in neutral.
Gordon would have been a huge offensive threat, and Mullens, a seven-footer, would have given the British a tough inside presence.
Now, not so much.
Chances for a place in the medal round have fallen dramatically.
Luol Deng, an NBA player, owns Team GB's scoring record with 38 points in a game. Gordon would have been a perfect complement.
History Has a Way of Repeating Itself
What history you might ask?
Well, that's the point.
Team GB recently lost a four-point setback to Spain, and the British started the season 0-7 with possible wins coming up against Portugal.
Team USA looms after the two games with Portugal.
Five of the losses have been by 10 points or fewer and a handful went into overtime. That's when depth, or lack of it, comes into play.
Team GB has an overall mark of 1-7 in the Olympics and 2-6 in EuroBasket competition.
Team GB's Game with Team USA Will Be Broadcast by BBC
The BBC will be broadcasting Team GB's games against the Americans:
GB Women vs. USA Women Wednesday 18 July, 19.00-21.30, BBC Red Button and bbc.co.uk/sport (commentary only)
GB Men vs. USA Men Thursday 19 July, 19.00-21.30, BBC Three, Radio 5 live Sports Extra and bbc.co.uk/sport (presentation and commentary)
Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three said: "This exciting basketball fixture between the Great Britain and the USA is the perfect way for BBC Three to get ready for our comprehensive coverage of London 2012."
Team GB Had High Hopes but Can Only Look to Improve
Let's face it. Even with Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens, it still would have been tough for Team GB to slip through into the medal round. Possible, yes. Likely, no.
With Deng as their only legitimate scoring threat, the present make-up of the club might worry Portugal but, probably, not the United States.
The best case scenario is for Team GB to win a game or two before the Olympics start and then maybe steal a win or two on their home turf.
There's hoping for British national basketball, and the organization has been doing some things well; it just won't happen this year.
Team GB is in a pool with Australia, Brazil, China, Spain and Russia. That's a tough draw.
Prediction: Team GB goes 1-4 in Pool B and gets to watch the medal round in comfort.
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