Nicknamed "The Wolf Pack", the Finland basketball national team is appearing at the FIBA World Cup for the first time in its country's history. B back in the world stage after participating at the basketball competition of the 1952 Finland Olympics and the 1964 Japan Olympics, the Finns are looking to make a mark in international basketball after being selected as a wildcard qualifier in the 2014 basketball world championship held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14.
Finland 12-Man Roster for 2014 FIBA World Cup Mikko Koivisto (6'4", shooting guard) - Gaziantep BSB (TBL, Turkey) Erik Murphy (6'10", power forward) - Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA, USA) Kimmo Muurinen (6;8", forward) - Tapiolan Honka (Korisliiga, Finland) Shawn Huff (6'6", small forward)- Necar Riesen Ludwigsburg (Bundesliga, Germany) Gerald Lee (6'10", center) - CSU Asesoft Ploiesti (Romania) Sasu Salin (6'3", shooting guard) – Union Olumpija (Liga UPC Telemach, Slovenia) Tuukka Kotti (6’9”, center) – Konkarit Loimaa Bisons (Korisliga, Finland) Petteri Koponen (6’4”, guard) – Khimki (PBL, Russia) Matti Nuutinen (6’7”, forward) – Konkarit Loimaa Bisons (Korisliiga, Finland) Hanno Mottola (6’10”, power forward) - Torpan Pojat (Korisliiga, Finland) Antero Lehto (6’1”, point guard) – Pyrinto (Korisliiga, Finland) Teemu Rannikko (6’2”, point guard) – Kataja (Korisliiga, Finland)
Led by big point guard Petteri Koponen, who averaged 13.6 points and 4.8 assists at the 2013 EuroBasket, Finland reached the second round of that continental championship. The Finnish ended up at 9th place overall their best result since ending up at 6th at the 1967 EuroBasket. Koponen’s scoring will be complemented by the Finns’ balanced offensive attack also led by Shawn Huff (8.8 PPG) and Gerald Lee (8.3 PPG)s
While the trio will handle the scoring, center Tuuka Kotti will take care of the paint for Finland. The 6-foot-9 power forward averaged 7.1 points but led the squad in rebounding with 5.9 caroms per outing. Shooting guard Sasu Salin is expected to help in both fronts after averaging 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds at the Euro championships.
Finland Schedule at the 2014 FIBA World Cup Aug. 30 - Finland vs. USA Aug. 31 - Finland vs. Ukraine Sept. 2 - Finland vs. Dominican Republic Sept. 3 - Finland vs. Turkey Sept. 4 – Finland vs. New Zealand
Finland will be put to test early as they go up against the mighty Americans on their opening day assignment. Finland along with the United States of America is in Group C of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain with national teams from Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Turkey and New Zealand.