MOSCOW (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - If you thought Russia had a formidable basketball team in the summer of 2012 when they found success at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) and at the London Games, the coming editions could be even better.
Fresh off a bronze-medal winning performance in Britain, giant center Timofey Mozgov believes the potential is there for his national side to continue challenging for podium places and that includes 2014 when Russia hope to play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
There are unanswered questions related to the future, though.
Will Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko continue to make himself available for national team duty as he has the last two summers, or might the 31-year-old stay away as he did in 2009 and '10?
Another significant issue relates to the head coaching position.
David Blatt has been with Russia since the summer of 2006 and guided them to gold at EuroBasket 2007, bronze at EuroBasket 2011 and bronze again this summer.
Will he continue to guide the national side or sever ties with Russia and focus solely on his duties as the coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv?
The Russian Basketball Federation wants Blatt to continue.
"There is no specific date but talks will be held in the near future," Russian Basketball Federation Secretary General Natalia Galkina said in an interview with Sport Express.
"I think they will be held in early October."
Continuity is perhaps the most pressing concern for Russia's men's team if they have designs on capturing gold at EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia.
"It is not clear," Mozgov said, when asked about the team's chances.
"Because there are rumors about Viktor Khryapa, about Andrei Kirilenko.
"Will they play or not ... There is no certainty, and with the head coach.
"Of course, if David Blatt were to remain, it will be clear what is expected from the team.
"After all these years, he has worked with the team. He created it.
"If a new coach comes - everything will change.
"In such a situation, it's difficult to make predictions."
If Russia are able to keep their current squad together under Blatt, the future is rosy.
Mozgov, who will very shortly begin a new campaign with the Denver Nuggets, believes Russia can rise above its current level.
"I think so,” he said.
"In the team we only (Andrei) Kirilenko and (Viktor) Khryapa who can be called veterans, and the rest of the team is young.
"And over the years, it will gain experience."
Mozgov says that 2012 has been both a busy, but hugely rewarding summer.
There is nothing like becoming an Olympian, and it’s even sweeter if you win a medal.
“The Olympic games, you (might) go only one time in your life,” Mozgov said.
“This was important for us. Even before the (bronze-medal) game, the people were proud of us in Russia.
"If we had lost to Argentina, people would still love us.
"But we didn’t want to give it up.
“You practice for three months for the Olympic games. On the court, you play hard because you don’t want to go (home) without a medal.”