Depth, the Opals prized possession

Depth, the Opals prized possession

Australia's supporting cast at the basketball world championship are starting to show their worth heading into the second round in the Czech Republic.

Veteran Opals Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, Kristi Harrower and Belinda Snell are proven at this level, but the next tier of talent will be vital to Australia's hopes of defending their title.

And in their three straight wins in the first round, the younger players gradually improved each game.

In their final match against China on Saturday, Hollie Grima (14 points, eight rebounds), Jenna O'Hea (14 points) and teenage starting centre Liz Cambage (13 points) all performed well heading into the second round.

The Opals will train twice on Sunday's rest day before the second round begins.

"It's about constant improvement. I think we've improved in some areas that we've been trying to address," coach Carrie Graf said.

"A couple of practices tomorrow will be good for us.

"There's been progress, we've shown some good signs and the great part about the first round has been our depth have held up their end.

"That augurs well for the future, that we've got good depth off the bench, they're performing their roles well and they're getting valuable experience."

The Australians boast unprecedented height, which could prove crucial in the games to come, especially when they take on the United States in their final second-round match on Wednesday.

Lauren Jackson spent just 2:42 on court against China, allowing Grima, Cambage, Marianna Tolo and Abby Bishop extended minutes to develop combinations.

"I think we're starting to work better together," Grima said.

"As we keep going through the rounds I think we'll keep gelling.

"Obviously Lauren didn't play much tonight, but it's easy to play with her because she can do pretty much everything.

"We're quite a young group so it's been good to have more time together."

Jackson, who has been playing almost non-stop in 2010, was happy for the rest.

"It was just one of those things where if we're going to win this game, I may as well just rest a little bit," she said after the 91-68 win over China.

"I'm just doing what's right for the team right now and right for me, I'm not getting any younger, so it's just getting me right for the next round.

"We got through the first round very well and I'll be ready in a couple of days."

By James Dampney , AAP