Thursday, 3 September 2009

Who will be in the Great Britain 12?

Great Britain coach Chris Finch is scheduled to name his final 12-man roster for Poland on Friday, leaving an unlucky duo on the sidelines. Now with everyone (almost) healthy, bar a late test for Kieron Achara, the American has a few tough choices.

Here's the predicted squad based on talking to those in and around the team.

G- Flinder Boyd, Mike Lenzly, Jarrett Hart
F-  Joel Freeland, Nick George, Drew Sullivan
F/C- Pops Mensah Bonsu, Robert Archibald, Andrew Betts

So that's nine spots gone, 3 available and 2 to exit.

In the backcourt ... I don't foresee Justin Robinson surviving, although he does give GB a different type of penetrative guard. But there are questions over his defence and his experience at this stage in his career. Similarly, Germayne Forbes has done well to get this far in the cut list. He works hard, and the coaches like his toughness. But there is a numbers game at play and he hasn't produced enough to separate himself. Which is why Nate Reinking, a perennial Finch favourite, will probably get the nod despite a poor lead-up to the finals.

In the frontcourt ... this could be the toughest and cruellest cut of all if Finch decides to travel with 5 guards (one extra as a precaution against Flinder Boyd's troublesome ankle).

Dan Clark did brilliantly at the 02 tournament and provided a tantalising insight into what he could achieve, given some proper playing time in Spain. However, there is a feeling he isn't quite ready for this elevated level. Yet there are still worries over Kieron Achara's ability to stay healthy - plus his absence from practice for the past week has dented his standing. Saving him is how impressed the coaches, and his team-mates, are with his effort and his ability to play the three and four spots.

If he is healthy, the Biella forward will get the nod as Finch re-arranges his offensive schemes following the arrival of Pops Mensah Bonsu (who is being slotted in at centre). If not, Clark or Forbes will likely remain. Don't be surprised to see the unfortunate casualty still travelling to Poland as back-up.

Friday should be intriguing.

UPDATED: Jarrett Hart did not practice on Thursday, creating another twist to the mix as Finch and his staff ponder their dynamic dozen. A reprieve for Forbes perhaps?

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