ANKARA (EuroBasket/2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) - If there’s one positive to be drawn for Turkey in this summer's Qualification Round for the EuroBasket, it's that more youngsters are in the squad than normal.
Unfortunately for coach Bogdan Tanjevic, Utah Jazz big man Enes Kanter, 20, isn’t one of them.
The 2.08m center played very well at last year’s EuroBasket for Turkey turned down the national side this summer to instead focus on his upcoming NBA season with Utah.
The Turkish squad has plenty of young guns that are full of promise, though.
Among them is Ilkan Karaman, 22, a late second-round draft pick this year by the Brooklyn Nets.
The 2.05m forward has averaged 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 22 minutes per game for Turkey.
And Semih Erden, on the books of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, is only 26, although he made his senior team debut six years ago at the FIBA World Championship in Japan.
The rest of the youngsters in the Turkish squad coached by Bogdan Tanjevic, however, aren't getting many minutes.
Other than 22-year-old power forward Izzet Türkyilmaz, a member of last year's EuroBasket team, minutes have been sparse for the young players.
Turkey have two wins and two losses in their Qualification Round Group F and trail Italy (4-0) and the Czech Republic (3-1).
Fortunately for the national side, which finished runners-up when they won the 2010 FIBA World Championship as the host nation, the top two teams from each of the six Qualification Round groups, and the four best third-place teams, progress to next year's Final Round in Slovenia.
Remember, Turkey need to make it Slovenia to have a chance to qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup or else they will have to rely on a wild card, something they received in 2006.
They nevertheless need to start winning games.
Tanjevic will lead Turkey in a very awkward game on Sunday in Minsk when they go up against Belarus, a team they only beat 77-74 on 18 August in Ankara.
And they only managed that when Emir Preldzic drilled a three-pointer with two seconds to go.
Belarus power forward Yahor Meshcharakou then missed a three-ball at the buzzer.
Alarm bells were definitely ringing for Turkey after their 18-point setback at the Czech Republic on Monday.
Is this a national team that has enough weapons to make to Slovenia and stay in the hunt for a spot in the FIBA Basketball World Cup?
"We have now four more games," said 26-year-old shooting guard Serhat Cetin, who is making his senior team bow this summer.
"We are really down.
"We have to win our next four games to go to the EuroBasket."