Nate Reinking’s coaching experience will be in play for Great Britain against Ukraine today.

The skills in adjusting on the fly that he picked in the G-League. The insights gained as assistant coach in 2013 that he can tap into as EuroBasket 2022 gets under way.

Less than 17 hours before the event tipped off in Milan, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye flew in to join the squad as the latest of replacements – pressed into action without a single practice, or even shootaround, here – to fill the void left by the absence of the influential Teddy Okereafor.

Given that the preparations for this tournament – with solely a short camp and two World Cup qualifiers with Belgium and Latvia – have been a million kilometres from what Reinking envisaged when he took over two years ago, it is just one in a line of bumps in this road.

But the London 2012 Olympian has no choice here, except to roll with the punches and shuffle his point guard pack for the opening gambit (1.15pm BST).

“Over the past windows like Greece last window and in the World Cup qualifiers, we had Carl Wheatle at the point,” he declared.

“Luke Nelson has played multiple times at the point. And we’re very versatile, especially across the board really. So there’s times when we’ve mixed up our line-ups, all through our prep.

“So there’s no issue there. And we’ll figure it out as we go. You fill in with the group.”

Theirs is a pool where fourth place can, and should be, the target. Greece are favourites despite injuries that will reduce their roster to ten men for their opener against Croatia.

Italy, dealing with some home pressure, are keeping expectations level following the injury to Danilo Gallinari with the levity of their mercurial ex-player-turned-coach Gianmarco Pozzecco.

Croatia, short on confidence, but long on talent make up a Big Three.

Behind them, GB, Ukraine and Estonia. However it cannot be the ambition to simply win against the two near foes and write off the rest.

“Every game you prep and you want to win,” Reinking says. “I mean, from the outside, you’re looking at Greece’s roster and all those others. But you never know what can happen.

“It’s one of those things – especially in a tournament, it’s day by day and you just approach each day as it comes, live in that moment and hopefully you come out on top.”

Adds Ovie Soko, “Second round would definitely be a statement. And everyone here knows that. We know we’re going in obviously as the underdogs.

“I think we walk on every court in Europe as the underdogs – even though a lot of the guys on this team have played in France, played in the Spanish top league, have played in a lot of really good leagues around Europe.

“But we take that challenge head on, and I think we’re excited for that challenge.”

Surely though, victory over Ukraine is essential for that anticipation to convert into achievement,

NBAer Alex Len headlines a roster which has bonded amid the travails of war back home but there is experience and – significantly – size.

“They’re solid, they’re big, they have some really skilful guys,” Reinking states. “Hopefully we can match their physicality, and especially keep them off the glass.

“And if we can do that, with our speed, we can get out and run. And hopefully, we can keep the pace high in this sort of game against them.

“And, of course, be solid defensively, like we were against Latvia. I think we took huge strides in that game. We just got to keep getting better as these.”

Watch the game live with a free trial at streaming service Courtside 1891.

Ukraine and Great Britain have met each other once before at the EuroBasket, it was in the first round of the 2013 edition with a 87-68 win of Ukraine; the Blue and Yellow team made 33 field goals in that game against Great Britain, their second-best tally in a game in the competition (37 v Israel in 2017). 

Ukraine have only won three of their 10 first round games in the last two editions of the EuroBasket after winning four of their five games at that round in 2013; they have won their first game in only one of their previous eight appearances in an edition of the tournament (58-57 v Belgium in 2013). 

Great Britain have lost their last six games at the EuroBasket, including each of their five games in the 2017 edition, but have never lost seven games in a row in the competition; five of their last six defeats ended with margins of greater than 10 points. 

Artem Pustovyi was Ukraine’s best point scorer (15.3) and best rebound taker (6.5) during the EuroBasket 2017; he made on average 1.7 blocks per game during that competition, only Kristaps Porzingis (1.9) had a better average that year. 

Gabe Olaseni scored 15+ points in four of his five games with Great Britain in the EuroBasket, with all those games happening in 2017; he was one of only two players averaging 10+ points and 10+ rebounds 

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