Nigeria Olympic Men's Basketball Team 2012: Updated News, Roster & Analysis
The Games are a chance for the Nigerians to show that they are to be respected as a basketball team, and to make some noise on the international stage.
The team is in Group A, along with Lithuania, United States, Argentina, France and Tunisia.
Built around their height, this team looks to force the ball inside and dominate the glass in order to win. This could pose problems for a lot of teams in the Olympics, including Team USA, who lacks big men.
This team could be trouble, and this is your guide to their run in London.
Roster courtesy NBAcircle.com
Abdul Alade Aminu – C
Adeola Adedokun Dagunduro – G
Al-Farouq Ajadi Aminu – F
Aniekan Okon Archibong – F
Anthony Oludewa Skinn – G
Chamberlain Nnemeka Oguchi – SG
Derrick Obasohan – F
Ejike Christopher Ugboaja – F
Ekenechukwu Brian Ibekwe – PF
Ikechukwu Somtochukwu Diogu – F
Olumide Oyedeji – C
Richard Dean Oruche – G
Key Players to Watch
The current New Orleans Hornets forward, Aminu needs to be a big-time player for his country.
While he doesn't play a huge role with the Hornets, he will have to in the Olympics. His team needs him to step up and perform at a high level on the international stage.
One of the players to watch for this team isn't even a starter.
Dagunduro is a guard for this team, and he comes off the bench. However, he leads the team with 3.0 assists per game in just 18.6 minutes. He also kicks in 10.2 points, which is third on the team.
This guy is similar to James Harden in the fact that he does his work off the bench and is still a star. He will need to play well and get the ball inside for Nigeria.
A 10-year veteran in the NBA who is currently playing in China, Diogu is the leader of this Nigerian team. He dropped 25 points in their final game, securing the team a trip to London.
Diogu will have to play a big role if the team is going to do anything during the Games. He is a vital part of the team, and will need to prove that he is one of the best in the world if the team can rally behind him.
After playing in the FIBA Qualifying tournament on July 4, and being placed into the same group, these two have become rivals.
Nigeria won the first game 86-80, but they can't sleep on Lithuania in the rematch, as a win here is crucial to the success of the Nigerians.
A European powerhouse, France could pose a problem for Nigeria. With five NBA players including Tony Parker, this would classify as a big upset if Nigeria could it pull it off.
However, Nigeria must do it all inside, as their only advantage over the French is in the paint.
The U.S. is dominant in international play, and this year's team is no different. In fact, Kobe Bryant has said that this team could beat the 1992 Dream Team.
While Nigeria can compete inside and perhaps even beat the Americans in the paint, the guard-play of the Americans could blow them away. However, this would be a huge upset for the Nigerians.
There's a reason why Nigeria was the last team to qualify for the Games in London, and they will show why during the Olympics.
This team will be able to beat Lithuania in the rematch, but that may be their only win. They will lose to the U.S., France and most of Group A, and will not be able to move on to the next stage.
However, this team will provide some thrills and will be worth watching when they take the court in London.