The old Soviet Union were heavyweights in international basketball so the absence of the Russian men at the Athens Olympics has left the draw with a distinctly different look.
Sergei Elevich wasn't able to guide the national team to a top-three finish at the European Championships and, as a result, world basketball won't see the amazing Andrei Kirilenko in action four years after he shone at the Sydney Games.
Kirilenko recently played in the NBA All-Star Game and the Utah Jazz forward was on Monday named Western Conference Player of the Week after leading his team to three consecutive wins.
Russia were blown off course by France in the knockout round of the European Championships last summer in Sweden, a 76-69 defeat.
Currently in charge of BC Khimki, Elevich believes he is the man who should take the national team reins again and has applied for the position along with five others.
Former Russian international players with coaching experience at club level have applied, including Sergei Babkov.
Babkov was a member of the silver-medal winning Russian side at the 1998 World Championships and he's the man the Sport-Express newspaper believes is the leading contender, despite his club side Lokomotiv Novosibirsk having won just three of their 19 Super League games.
Others to apply are Sergei Bazarevich (former Dinamo Moscow head coach), Valeri Tikhonenko (former CSKA Moscow head coach), Vladimir Tsinman (Stanislav Eremin's assistant in the National Team of Russia 1999-2002) and Eugeni Pashutin (current coach of CSKA-2 Moscow).
The Executive Committee of the Basketball Federation of Russia is expected to make its decision later this month.