MOSCOW (EuroBasket Women) – Several months have passed since Russian Basketball experienced one of its worst nightmares, a one-win performance at the 2013 EuroBasket Women.
The result caused the national team to fall well short of qualification for the 2014 World championship for Women in Turkey.
Lossess to Spain and Sweden, and a win over Italy that wasn’t by a big enough margin to win a tie-breaker, condemned the national team to an early exit from the competition in France.
Questions were asked, and a shake-up followed.
One of the results was the appointment of Anatolyi Myshkin as the new coach.
A great player in his days with the old Soviet Union, Myshkin appears to be bringing a steely determination yet considered approach to his position.
The 59-year-old wants to win, but more importantly strengthen the foundation for the women’s program that will allow it to thrive in the future.
In an interview with F-Sport, Myshkin shared some of his thoughts.
He says there needs to be a “second team” for Russia, one that consists of players who “aspire to get into the main team”.
“This is not a youth team and shouldn’t be confused with it,” he said.
Myshkin also believes there is also a need to see a gradual move away from an over-reliance on foreign players in the domestic league .
“This is really a very big problem,” he said.
“And it’s visible to the naked eye. Personally, I am convinced that it is necessary to limit the number of foreign players…
“In my opinion – there is a need to develop a program for the gradual reduction in the number of foreigners.
“Again, not all at once, but gradually. It should be a great project for the entire Olympic cycle.
There are different approaches to the foreign player issue that can be taken, he says.
He thinks there should also be a review of the approach to having foreign coaches.
While Myshkin isn’t opposed to having people from other countries work in Russia, he believes some form of accreditation process may be needed for coaches before they can ply their trade in the country.
“And not only the head coach, but also assistants …,” he said.
As for the upcoming EuroBasket Women 2015 qualifying campaign and the make-up of his squad, Myshkin says he attends a lot of games in Moscow and the Moscow Region, and looks not only at established national team players but those who have been passed over in the past.
After saying he didn’t want to talk about candidates, he did want to offer a comment on the comeback of Marina Karpunina, a player who’s last appearance with Russia was EuroBasket Women
She has been kept out of action for the national team in recent years because of injuries.
The 29-year-old shooting guard is playing for Spartak Noginsk and seems to be returning to top form.
She averaged seven points and four rebounds for the club in theEuroCup Women, and is averaging almost 11ppg in the Russian league.
“Marina Karpunina has managed to return to (playing) great basketball after a serious injury,” Myshkin said.
“Many had thought that she would not return, but the level of play that she shows and a great desire in her eyes demonstrates that she is in good shape.”