Thoseby Comes Through, GB U20s Victory Over Iceland Not Enough -

Thoseby Comes Through, GB U20s Victory Over Iceland Not Enough

GB U20s vs Iceland
Great Britain Under-20s secured a 72-70 victory over Iceland on Thursday evening behind a breakout performance from Adam Thoseby, but it made little difference as an Israel victory over Finland earlier in the day meant the team will be competing for 13th-16th place.

Despite the win, GB finished third in Group H, meaning they will not advance to play for ninth place, and taking their 2011 Division B European Championship campaign from bad to worse.

Thoseby came through for GB, finishing with 27 points on 11/18 shooting, including the crucial three point play with 7 seconds left to give the British side the lead. Ryan Richards started off quickly, as has been habit of late, having 17 points in the first half, but rolled his ankle and didn’t return to the game. Alex Marcotullio had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Devon Van Oostrum struggled with his shot going 0/11 from the field to finish with 1 point, but added 11 rebounds, and 7 assists, Alistair Mackay had 5 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Lee Goldsbrough added 5 and 3 rebounds.

Iceland came out with intent, taking a 19-10 on GB just 5 minutes into the game, but a 12 point first quarter performance from Richards kept GB close, as they went into the first break down 23-17.

Richards passed the torch to Thoseby in the second quarter, who came out and scored 8 points in the first 1 minute and 40 seconds of the period as GB took their first lead, 25-24, on his second consecutive three pointer. A three from Marcotullio, followed by another Thoseby basket, gave GB a 30-24 lead with just over 6 minutes left in the half. At halftime, GB held a slim 39-36 lead on Iceland.

Iceland failed to close the gap in the third quarter, and GB entered the final stanza with the same three point lead, at 54-51. Iceland refused to keel over, and kept on chipping away in the fourth and their effort paid off as they tied the game at 69 with just 30 seconds remaining.

On GB’s next possession, Will Hall drew a foul, but went to the line and missed both as Iceland secured the rebound. However, Hall redeemed himself at the other end as he blocked a shot, then gained possession of the ball to give GB another shot. Thoseby hit a fastbreak layup whilst being fouled and made the free throw giving GB a 72-69 lead with 7 seconds remaining.

GB elected to foul to stop Iceland getting a three point attempt, Tomasson split them both, but his teammate managed to grab the offensive rebound and have one last shot attempt, but missed giving GB the win.

Full box score, play by play and statistics can be found here.

GB will now play Romania on Saturday as they try to salvage a 13th place finish.


  • Starters: Devon Van Oostrum, Alex Marcotullio, Ali Mackay, Ali Fraser, Ryan Richards
  • Thoseby and Richards combined for 31 of GB’s 39 first half points.
  • Still seems to be an over-reliance on the three point shot, GB shot 35 of them today, making only 8.
  • GB have to be hoping Richards’ ankle injury is not serious. He has tweeted he doesn’t think he’ll be playing again in the tournament.


  1. Pingback: Adam Thoseby drops 27 points on Iceland | USUStats Blog

  2. shattered

    July 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I don’t want to harp, but when you look at the kind of scoring productivity measures that coaches should be looking at including %, points per minute etc. then Fraser and Thoseby have been massively underused and really, Thoseby’s last quarter against Czech Republic and tonight’s game against Iceland where he was the difference when it mattered in both games should be embarrassing for the coaching staff. While no criticism is aimed at the players; Marcotullio and Van Oostrum have clearly been overused when things weren’t working. There have been lots of comments here on over reliance on 3 point shooting (and Thoseby had 44% from 3’s today) it’s clearly more a case of asking the wrong players to take those shots if that plan was being maintained (we hope there was a game plan) – continuing to ask the same players to do that is naive coachng at any level, in any sport. Van Oostrum ranks 10th in the whole tournament for 3pfg’s attampted at 14.3% – he’s been let down by the coaching staff too. The Finland game rears its head again – it’s the one result that both knocked out GB from Quarter Final qualification on shocking rotations and has now cost us in the head to head in Group H after tight wins against Israel and Iceland – it’s the whole coaching performance in microcosm.

  3. Pingback: GB U20s fifth straight victory made little difference « Spurs World – "Everything about the San Antonio Spurs and more…"

  4. Basketball

    July 22, 2011 at 7:21 am

    You must be there first hand watching the games!! Maybe a parent or is this another one of the arm chair coaches that continuously berates the U20’s and it’s staff? Amazing.

    • shattered

      July 23, 2011 at 5:00 am

      Wrong on both counts – just looking at the stats. How they played against Finland didn’t matter, what mattered was the result over effort, commitment, style and unity – sometimes in atournament, you might just have to win one game ugly.

  5. Basketball too

    July 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Amazing? The team has underperformed (again) and the stats are there for all to see and interpret, I am not there watching either but I don’t think it is unreasonable to draw the conclusion he/she has. No armchair coaching here, just a basketball fan who believes the tournament has been a failure and the coach is not up to the job. Fed up with excuses as well

  6. John

    July 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Time for a mix-up in the coaching in the GB-England set up. Tim has had some prety good teams and has failed year after year to get the best out of them, this year being the final straw. The basketball politics in this country is beyond me! I dont like to be like that its harsh but England basketball is becoming more of a joke each year.

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