Marc Steutel will lead Great Britain’s into this month’s EuroBasket qualifiers against France and Montenegro.

A 24-man initial squad has been named for the games at the neutral venue of Pau with GB having won eight of their last ten games including a convincing 81-73 victory over Germany last time out.

Eleven of the 12 players who featured in that important win in Newcastle are recalled, while the coaching staff remains unchanged with Steutel again stepping in as acting head coach with Nate Reinking unavailable. He will be assisted by Jamie Smith and Andreas Kapoulas.

Gareth Murray has made himself unavailable due to his coaching commitments at Glasgow Rocks.

Worthing Thunder youngster Cameron Hildreth and Rex Pflueger of Newcastle Eagles receive their first call-ups. Big man Ben Lawson (Kyoto Hannaryz) and shooting guard Kareem Queeley (San Pablo Burgos) could also make their first appearances after being selected for previous squads.

Akwasi Yeboah, who featured in summer 2018 in FIBA World Cup Q=qualifying. returns to the squad following a period of unavailability while playing in the USA.

Five BBL players are named to the squad including reigning MVP Justin Robinson of the London Lions. Ashley Hamilton (Plymouth Raiders) Andrew Lawrence (Plymouth Raiders), Rex Pflueger (Newcastle Eagles), and Conner Washington (Leicester Riders) are the other four. Kavell Bigby-Williams is included but will not play after sustaining a season-ending injury last week.

The four Group G games in November will take place in a central Covid-19-secure ‘bubble’ in Pau, France. Group G is evenly poised as all four teams – France, Germany, Great Britain, and Montenegro – have a 1-1 record.

With Germany receiving automatic qualification as a EuroBasket 2022 host, the outcome of GB’s games against France and Montenegro will be crucial in determining whether they advance to the tournament proper.

Ranked sixth in the world, France are favourites to win the group and it will be a challenge for anyone to beat them on their home court. GB are the underdogs, currently sitting in 42nd place in the FIBA world rankings. Germany are ranked 18th and Montenegro, 26th.

This will be the first time GB have played France since FIBA EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia. That GB team, led in scoring by Dan Clark with 16 points, lost 88-65 to a French side which included Portland Trailblazers’ Nicolas Batum (17 points) and San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker (16 points).

The last time Great Britain beat France was 32 years ago during the 1988 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Steve Bucknall was top scorer for GB with 19 points as they cruised to a 91-76 victory. France lead the all-time head-to-head series 7-4.

Great Britain have only played Montenegro once and that was in February when they lost their qualifying opener 81-74. GB will not only be looking to even the series, but will want to beat them by more than seven points in case qualification comes down to a tie-breaker.

GB play France on 27 November and Montenegro on 29 November. Both games tip off at 17:00 GMT. The final 12-man rosters will be confirmed ahead of each game.

Great Britain Men’s National Team Roster – FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifying – November 2020

Kavell Bigby-Williams F/C 25 6’11” INJURED 6
Dan Clark F/C 32 6’11” Real Canoe (ESP) 104
Ashley Hamilton F 32 6’7″ Plymouth Raiders (GBR) 24
Myles Hesson F 30 6’6″ Élan Chalon (FRA) 41
Cameron Hildreth G 18 6’5″ Worthing Thunder (GBR) 0
Kyle Johnson G 31 6’5″ Free Agent 83
Sacha Killeya-Jones F 22 6’10” MKS Dabrowa Górnicza (POL) 8
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye G 24 6’3″ Poiters Basket 86 (FRA) 4
Andrew Lawrence G 30 6’2″ Plymouth Raiders (GBR) 62
Ben Lawson F/C 25 7’1″ Kyoto Hannaryz (JPN) 0
Ben Mockford G 31 6’2″ Free Agent 39
Luke Nelson G 25 6’3″ BG Göttingen (GER) 21
Teddy Okereafor G 28 6’4″ Free Agent 45
Gabe Olaseni C 28 6’10” Büyükçekmece (TUR) 36
Rex Pflueger G 24 6’6″ Newcastle Eagles (GBR) 0
Tarik Phillip G 27 6’3″ Hapoel Jerusalem BC (ISR) 6
Kareem Queeley G 19 6’4″ San Pablo Burgos (ESP) 0
Justin Robinson G 33 6’2″ London Lions (GBR) 40
Jacob Round G 20 6’4″ Levitec Huesca (ESP) 1
Ovie Soko F 29 6’7″ Le Mans (FRA) 10
Morayo Soluade G 25 6’5″ CB Breogán (ESP) 6
Conner Washington G 28 6’1″ Leicester Riders (GBR) 8
Carl Wheatle F 22 6’7″ OriOra Pistoria (ITA) 15
Akwasi Yeboah F 23 6’6″ Saint-Quentin BB (FRA) 2
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