England U18s Suffer Heavy Defeat to Croatia - Hoopsfix.com

England U18s Suffer Heavy Defeat to Croatia

England Under-18s suffered a heavy 24 point loss at the hands of Croatia on Saturday night, 89-65, however will continue on to the second round of the Division A European Championships after their win over Ukraine earlier in the week.

Defending champions Croatia were simply too much for England, who despite running them close at Future Stars three weeks ago, gave up an early lead and couldn’t get back in the game.

Luke Nelson was England’s top scorer with 25 points while Mo Soluade and Kingsley Okoroh both had 10. Okoroh also blocked five shots helping his tournament second-best average of 3.5 blocks per game.

It doesn’t get any easier for England as they face Spain in their opening game of round two on Monday, before facing Italy and then Latvia.

Box score.

Image Credit: FIBA Europe/Martins Silis


  1. John

    July 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

    What has happened to Mo Soluade? This kid was the standout player in this age group two years ago and now he doesn’t seem to be contributing anywhere near the same level?

    Also, looking at the box score Steve Bucknall doesn’t seem to know his rotations at all? I don’t know any coach that uses twelve players in the first half of a game at a decent level?

    • Lj

      July 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Wow. Ok. Firstly hating on a just turned 18 yo kid representing his country, plus dude is making movements in Spain. Probably playing at a current higher level than any of his england teammates

  2. JohnB

    July 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Obviously sir you have not watched or are not familiar with a number of NCAA Div 1 college teams.

    I agree it is not common, but by no means unusual.

    Also, if you compare the standard of the team at the very beginning of selection to the standard they are now, you should appreciate just how far they have come and how much they have improved.

    Of course, as a coach (?) you are fully entitled to your opinion.

    In addition, coach Bucknell may well prove to be the only coach to ensure an English team stays up in Division A

  3. Morris

    July 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I believe they have already qualified to remain in Division A?

  4. John

    July 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Was I offensive in anything I said? I do not think making an observation on a box score justifys anyone making an assessment on my knowledge of the game or making an assumption on what levels of basketball I have watched or am familiar with. Please do not be so defensive……

    I am merely making two observations based on the statistical facts that we get from the box score. Soluade doesn’t seem to be the same force he was with this group as u16s and Steve Bucknall doesn’t seem to have a solid seven, eight or nine man rotation that the majority of coaches working at a decent level have. Perhaps players are injured,perhaps he has specific rotations for specific situations eg vs zone/man. I do not know. But based on the box score, it would seem to me BASED ON THE BOX SCORE, that there is no solid rotation of players which, certainly in my opinion, which I am entitled to, seems as you say, unusual.

    Apologies if I caused offence for making an observation.

  5. John

    July 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I am more than happy to apologize.

    I am not sure just how much Mo S. has improved since going to Unicaja.

  6. JohnB

    July 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Apologies yet again, it is JohnB, not John. Sorry !!!!

  7. passerby

    July 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I’m afraid I still have concerns about Steve Bucknall. I remember the chaos two years ago when he got it so wrong.

    Last year and this year he has England’s acclaimed “Golden Generation”, managed not to make the mistakes of 2011 last year and obtained promotion. How much of this was down to this generation?

    This year they are playing a much better quality of opposition, and coaching, team chemistry and tactics will be much more important. It will be interesting to hear insider reports of this year’s campaign.

    I hope that when this group move up to U20s next year in Div A that Doug Leichner is rewarded for the job he has done this year and retained as Coach. He has knowledge of European junior competition, has promoted the right attitude of the players by all accounts and appears to have the required technical ability. Isn’t it great to see him communicating with us too. I would love to see what he and the “Golden Generation” can do.

  8. John

    July 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    People – please be aware that there are three different John’s commenting on this……….

    Lj – Who is hating?

    Soluade was the best player on the England team two years ago and now he isn’t, thats all i am saying, there is no hate. And….. When you consider that he is playing at a higher level than the rest of the guys, shouldn’t that have accellorated his development rather than see Luke Nelson so dramatically overtake him as the best player in the age group?

  9. Fan

    July 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    We beat Spain in overtime !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic result.

    Let’s hope we do not hear any more negativity re the team. This was a super result and the boys played really well.

    Congratulations to the team and the coaching staff.

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