On Friday, the groups for EuroBasket 2023 in Slovenia and Israel were drawn. The teams were drawn into ten groups with games to be played in November as well as November 2022 and February 2023. Group winners will automatically qualify with the top second-place teams joining them and the hosts to complete the field of sixteen. Since the field was two teams short of being able to have groups of all the same size, the ranking of second-place teams will exclude results against fourth-place teams. The big news ahead of the draw was the return of Luxembourg and the first participation for Ireland and Austria in this format. Both hosts will be included in this format to give them the chance to play high-level games during the windows in preparation for the tournament.
The two groups with three teams are E and J. Both Serbia and Croatia made it to the last tournament and will both be expecting to do the same again with a pair of rivalry games to look forward to in Group E along with games against Bulgaria. Sweden and Latvia will be fighting in Group J with Israel’s strength not clear yet having already earned a place as hosts. Groups A, D, F, H, and I also have two teams that made the last tournament. Bosnia and Herzegovina was the surprise team, but they have Belgium in Group A and Germany and North Macedonia to complete the strongest group overall. In Group D, Slovenia is in a position to win if they field strong squads with Turkey and Poland looking to secure key results behind them with games against Albania unlikely to factor into the final results. In Group F, Russia should be fine with Montenegro in solid position if they secure good results against whichever of Denmark or Austria finishes third. Italy and Slovakia will both feel like they have the chance to grab the automatic spot in Group H as Luxembourg and Switzerland are unlikely to challenge either. Group I also presents a good opportunity for either Belarus or the Czech Republic to qualify, but the Netherlands has spoiler ability while Ireland will mainly be looking to benefit from the experience at this level. The other teams in Group B will feel unlucky to have drawn France with Ukraine looking to return to the continental stage, Lithuania facing a hard path to breaking in, and the young talent of Finland having a tough task ahead of them. Spain is in transition, but figures to have no trouble in Group C as Hungary will expect to finish behind them with the hopes of getting the necessary results to still qualify. Romania can certainly be a spoiler and there will be tough trips in this group all the way out to Iceland. Greece is the team in Group G that was at the last tournament, but Great Britain will certainly expect to qualify as well as Portugal and Estonia are going to feel that upsets are not completely out of the question.