| Lubos Barton is happy with the Czech Republic earning a place at EuroBasket 2013, but admits they still need to improve on several aspects |
Lubos Barton admits Jan Vesely's absence was very significant for the Czech Republic in their EuroBasket Qualification Round campaign.
With the Washington Wizards' high-flying forward in the squad, the Czechs are a more athletic team.
As it was, Vesely, the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year in 2010, did not play this summer and the Czechs finished third behind Italy and Turkey in Group F.
The national team still earned a ticket to next year's EuroBasket as one of the four best third-place teams.
"Jan would certainly help," Barton said.
"And I think that we could actually finish first in the group but this is only hypothetical."
Vesely, 22, will soon begin his second season in the NBA with Washington.
In the last month of his rookie campaign, he received a big increase in playing time and averaged 8.46 points and 6.73 rebounds.
"I believe that Jan will be at the EuroBasket next year and play with the team," Barton said.
"He would give us a better chance of success in Slovenia."
There was another youngster who did make a major impact this summer.
Twenty-year-old Tomas Satoransky averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds at the point guard position.
Czech fans wonder if the 2.01m point guard will be good enough to follow in the footsteps of Vesely and play for Washington, the team that selected Satoransky in this year's NBA Draft.
|The veteran forward is confident the Czechs will get a huge boost at the EuroBasket with young star Jan Vesely on the team |
"Saty (Satoransky) certainly has great potential and can have a good career in the NBA," Barton said.
"Much will depend on his development and improvement. Of course, he should be an essential player in our national team for the future."
Barton believes the Czechs did some things very well in the Qualification Round, yet they need a big improvement in two other important areas.
"I think our biggest strength was the defense, rebounds and transition game," he said.
"On the contrary, in almost all the games we had a problem with shooting from long range and our free-throws."
The Czechs ranked 26th out of 31 teams in the Qualification Round with an average of 70.6 points per game.
They were third worst in three-point shooting percentage at 28.7 percent (35 of 122) and at the free-throw line, the team's 62.9 percent success rate ranked 29th overall.
Barton gave his assessments when answering questions of fans on the idnes.cz website.