|Andrea Bargnani is the second best scorer in the competition at 22.7 points per contest|
Qualifying for the EuroBasket in Lithuania won't happen this summer for several teams, but for one national side there is an unmistakable sense of optimism that now reigns surpreme.
The feel-good factor has returned for Italy, and that bodes well for the future.
After losing three of four Division A, Group A games under new coach Simone Pianigiani, the Italians have found their rhythm with three wins in a row.
They travel to Montenegro for Thursday night's last Group A game knowing a win could see them progress to the Final Round if other results go their way.
One of the main hopes in the team, seven-footer Andrea Bargnani, finally looks comfortable in an Italian shirt and he more than anyone wants his country to do well.
"I hope we can play at the highest level, to play in a EuroBasket and in big events," he said.
"But right now, it's difficult to say where we will be as we have not qualified just yet, although we are on the right path.
"There is enthusiasm. We are playing like a true team but to pick a target is not useful."
When a team like Italy fails to make it to a EuroBasket, as happened last year, it can be difficult to block out the negativity.
Bargnani stresses that what's in the past is in the past.
"In previous years we didn't get results and that is a fact," he said, "but now we must look ahead because there are no benefits to look at the past."
There are benefits to playing with national teams.
Players have a chance to remain sharp ahead of the coming season and also add new wrinkles to their game.
"I always try to improve in the summer," Bargnani said, "bring something extra to my arsenal.
"This has been an important year for me in the NBA (with Toronto).
"I played so much and that is valuable experience."
The challenge for all national team players is finding the right chemistry in a short space of time.
It took the Italians a long time to hit their stride.
"We have little time to play together when we started the qualifying round," he said, "but we have improved game by game.
"The friendly games are of no use because there's no pressure, no tension or fear, that which makes you experience real moments on the court.
"Had we been preparing longer before the start, I still believe our two first games would have gone the same as they did."
As for the change at the top, the big man says Italy made an excellent decision when they handed the reins to Montepaschi Siena boss Pianigiani.
"I feel comfortable with Pianigiani," Bargnani said.
"He has so much passion and everyone sees that - passion for the game - and for me this is beautiful because it transmits enthusiasm."