중앙데일리

Trunks of talent but Elephants play sloppy

Over-reliance on veteran center Seo Jang-hoon is weakening performances

Nov 02,2009
ET Land Elephants are off to a slow start this season. The Elephants are sitting in last place in the Korean Basketball League standings with one win and seven losses after losing six straight.

After dropping the match against Dongbu Promy on Halloween night, 78-71, ET Land has now lost six consecutive games. While most teams struggle due to lack of talent, that is not the case for the Incheon-based squad.

The team boasts veteran center Seo Jang-hoon, Chris Daniels and rookie Park Sung-jin who was drafted first overall in the college draft in the offseason. They do not pale in the league’s offensive categories as they are ranked among the top three in most areas. They have made the most attempts from the field and are third in success ratio from the field with 60 percent and fourth in the league in three-points made at 34.6 percent. They are also the league’s best in free throws, made at 83.7 percent. It doesn’t end there as the Elephants are first in rebounds and second in assists.

With such solid all-around numbers in most offensive categories, ET Land should not be struggling out of the gate, but they have been. And it’s because the team is playing undisciplined basketball.

The numbers don’t lie. Despite putting up respectable numbers on offense, ET Land has been playing sloppily. ET Land has committed the most turnovers in the league with 114. KCC Egis is next with 94. They also lead the league in fouls committed with an average of 14.3 fouls per game. Other KBL teams have committed half as much so far this season.

The other problem for the Elephants is their dependence on Seo. The veteran center is considered one of the best centers in the league and after he was acquired by the team in a mid-season trade last season, Seo helped the squad to their first postseason appearance in five years.

With a rule change that limits the number of foreign players on the court to one, Seo’s role on offense has been increased. In turn, he has responded well by putting up 19.6 points and eight rebounds per game. However, he has lacked the speed to cover ground on defense.

Seo’s supporting cast has been far from impressive this season, making the team’s offense a one-dimensional one focused on Seo in the low-post. Forwards Kim Sung-chul and Jung Young-sam are not playing to their capabilities. While Kim’s big shots from the perimeter and Jung’s ability to slash to the basket were valuable to the team last season, the two have not been as successful this season. Kim is averaging 8.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while Jung has put up 6.5 points and 1.4 rebounds.

Chris Daniels and Amal McCaskill have been underperforming as well. Daniels is averaging 13.6 points and five rebounds while McCaskill is averaging 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds.


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]



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