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One man's loss is another's fortune. Just ask Greece. Whilst their main opponents are losing their veterans, Greece's are returning in hoardes. This could be Greece's year to return to the top of Europe.
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Tony Parker is coming. That's a given. So is Boris Diaw. But without an established front court joining him, a silver déjà vu looks to be awaiting France in Slovenia.
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No news out of the Lithuanian camp in the past fortnight. Recoveries from injuries to more than one key figure on the team remain on track and there is no reason for Lithuania to be leaving the top three.
The Spanish were holding one EuroBasket trophy aloft last Sunday, but at this rate, a repeat in the men's competition becomes a longer shot with every week that passes. When Spain needed big plays in 2011, they turned to Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro, neither of whom are there this time round.
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With another two centers picked up in the NBA Draft last week, the former Yugoslav country is becoming to big men, what Kenya is to long-distance runners. This team will not be a surprise package, big things are now expected from them.
Sergey Karasev got picked up early in the NBA draft and is considered by many pundits to be NBA-ready. Here at FIBA Europe, we consider him to be EuroBasket-ready.
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Slovenia's black spot following Bozidar Maljkovic's early naming of his roster was going to be the frontcourt, that on paper, fails to offer the same threat as a stacked back court. With Erazem Lorbek now ruled out, this seems to ring even more true.
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In one of the worst kept secrets in basketball, Bogdan Tanjevichas has finally officially been announced as the official coach of the national team. Now he just needs to name a team...
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Andrea Bargnani got traded during the NBA silly season, landing himself in New York with the Knicks. Despite the change, his ambitions to play this summer with the national team appear to remain the same.
CROATIADario Saric has looked impresive at the U19 World Championship, but has personified that a man does make the team with the dangerous forward too often becoming a one-man show, leading to his team's quarter-final exit.
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Serbia dropped heavily last time round (three spots) which stops them from dropping any further this time, despite Novica Velickovic and Zoran Erceg removing themselves from the preliminary squad.
Dennis Schröder was mixing it up with football stars on the sports pages in Germany last week after being picked up 17th in the draft, but still finds himself excess to the initial German roster.
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Amare Stoudemaire is alledgedly investing in Hapoel Jerusalem basketball club. Should he now invest time in the national team, Israel's stock will sky-rocket.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Aco Petrovic is relishing the chance to play in the 'group of death', naming a squad of players hitting their peak mixed with youngsters biting at the bit. Could be a replay of qualifying on the cards.
F.Y.R OF Macedonia
F.Y.R of Macedonia's verge players did not quite come up with the result they would have wanted at the Mediterranean games, finding themselves edged of the podium by Tunisia in the bronze medal game.
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Scandinavian countries are continuing to benefit from first-generation children born to American parents who arrived in the north of Europe to play basketball. Eric Murphy, who was picked up in the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls exemplifies this.
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Poland have given their roster its first trim, with some players who helped out in the Qualfication Round last summer missing the cut. This is perhaps a sign that Poland have a little more depth this year.
The issue of Ben Gordon is once more popping up in Great Britain. Could the American connection through new head coach Joe Prunty finally be the man to see Gordon in GB colours?
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The women have had major success in making basketball a front page talking point in Sweden. With significantly more eyes now on them, the pressure mounts for the Swedish men.
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Early NBA Draft pick Olexiy "Alex" Len has given the 2015 tournament hosts a face for their championship, now he just needs to get on board for this summer's campaign and see Ukraine out of the first round.
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Georgia's squad can best be described as solid with the injured Zaza Pachulia the only major missing piece. Manuchar Markoishvili and Viktor Sanikidze are both key players who are in the preliminary squad.
Janis Timma was given a major confidence boost after being the last picked player in the 2013 NBA Draft. The extra workouts he will now subsequently get this summer are good news for not only him, but also Latvian basketball.
The Czech Republic have had a less than memorable time playing at the FIBA U19 World Championships managing just one win on home court. The senior men will be hoping there is no correlation between this and how their summer unfolds.
| 24|| |
Belgium could do with the all experience they can garner in Slovenia, but unfortunately they will not have it, with one of their most seasoned campaigners, Thomas Van Den Spiegel, announcing his retirement from basketball.