Great Britain Under-20s moved to 8-0 in their warm-up games with a comfortable 87-66 victory over the Netherlands on Tuesday evening in Ipswich.
Playing in a school gym packed full with over 300 fans, GB made light work of their opponent despite never appearing to get out of second gear.
“I thought we got off to a good start offensively, we shared the ball which is one of our major areas of emphasis, and we got them rotating a little bit,” said head coach Doug Leichner after the game. “Defensively, I thought in the first half they missed shots, not because of our defence, they just didn’t get good looks. You saw that in the second half they got some really good looks, so that is a concern for us on defensive end that we need to tighten up.”
Leichner added that to play in front of a home crowd was a welcome change, after four consecutive games on the road in Europe.
“It’s tremendous, we’re used to the whistles and the boos so to have the crowd actually cheering for us, we all kind of looked around and were like ‘oh they’re on our side!’, so it’s always good to be back home,” he said. “This is a great environment for us, so to be a little bit of road warriors and to come home to some good home cooking is tremendous.”
Devon van Oostrum once again led GB with 24 points, Nick Lewis had 13, Matthew Don had 12 and Rowell Graham added 9 whilst both players crashed the glass hard. Every GB player got off the bench, with 11 of 12 getting on the scoresheet.
Netherlands will be looking for revenge in Game 2, which will take place on Wednesday afternoon at Copleston.
- GB starters: Devon van Oostrum, Joe Hart, Rowell Graham, Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Zak Wells.
- Elvisi Dusha and David Akibo have not rejoined the team at camp after not being selected for the trip to Europe. Therefore I would assume, barring an injury, this is the final 12 (Rowell Graham, Jordan Spencer, John Stewart, Devon van Oostrum, Lewis Champion, Nick Lewis, Matthew Don, Joe Lockwood, Joe Hart, Grant Mackay, Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Zak Wells).
- Great to see a packed out gym, official attendance was said to be 311 – was definitely standing room only. So much nicer to play in a packed out smaller venue than a big empty one. The Ipswich Basketball Academy team did a great job of dressing the court and promoting the game, making it an actual event.
- On the topic of the crowd, their appreciation for having the GB U20s in town was evident, solid support throughout the game and all requesting autographs and photos with the players after it, which was great to see.
- The result appeared to never be in doubt from the opening tip. GB were in control for all 40 minutes; it will be interesting to see how both teams come out tomorrow.
- GB’s front line have been doing a great job of rebounding the ball, despite being so undersized.
- Spoke to a few of the players after the game, and team chemistry and morale seems to be really high in camp. Can only be a good thing as the Euros fast approaches (10 days away).
- British Basketball Chairman, Roger Moreland, and National Teams Director, Warwick Cann, were amongst the crowd.
- Follow @Hoopsfix on Twitter for real time updates on the game tomorrow, and follow all the U20s with this list.
- See a few photos from the game here, and a short little Vine video here that was filmed during warm-ups.
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