Dongbu thriving thanks to play of Yoon Ho-young

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Dongbu thriving thanks to play of Yoon Ho-young

Even with Kim Joo-sung missing from the lineup, the Dongbu Promy is thriving with the emergence of third-year forward Yoon Ho-young.

Yoon is averaging 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and Dongbu managed to defeat the Mobis Phoebus, 66-61, on Tuesday to improve its record to 5-3, good for fourth place in the league standings.

Kim is the star of the squad but is currently training with the national team in preparation for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. Dongbu initially struggled without Kim in the lineup, losing three consecutive games.

“It got to the point where I started to call Joo-sung after every game,” said Yoon. “It was really frustrating without him in the lineup. But I got tired of hearing that we were a losing team without Joo-sung in the lineup. I decided to work hard to help the team get over the hump.”

Yoon’s strong play, a result of preseason preparation, has helped the Promy’s turnaround. Yoon worked tirelessly before the season began on his shooting skills, which had been considered the main weakness in his game. As a result, Yoon managed to develop a respectable perimeter shot. Yoon is currently averaging 1.75 3-point shots made per game, good for sixth best in the league, and has connected on 48.28 percent of his shots from beyond the arc for third best in the league.

“Until last year, I was hesitant when it came time for me to shoot,” said Yoon. “I was afraid I would not connect. With improved confidence, it’s been fun taking shots now.”

With an outside game added to his repertoire, Yoon has been a difficult player to guard for the opposing teams. Yoon scored 16 and added nine rebounds against Mobis on Tuesday night and was fouled 10 times.

“Many say Park Sang-oh of KT and Kim Dong-wook of Samsung have improved a lot this season but no one has improved their game as much as Yoon,” said Dongbu head coach Kang Dong-hee. “He has done a great job of stepping up his game in the absence of Joo-sung.”

Prior to the start of the season, there weren’t too many who projected Dongbu to finish in the top three. With Yoon leading Dongbu to a respectable record, there’s no telling how well Dongbu will play when Kim Joo-sung returns to the lineup after the Asian Games.

But whether Yoon can continue to produce at his current level when Kim Joo-sung returns to the lineup and retakes much of the spotlight remains to be seen.

“I am a bit concerned about whether Yoon can continue his pace until the end of the season,” Kang said.

Said Yoon: “I want to show that I can continue to play well with Joo-sung back in the lineup.”

Yoon produced 14 points and six rebounds in the first two games of the season with Kim in the lineup. The numbers are comparable to his current averages. Dongbu travels to Anyang tonight to face KGC.


By Kim Woo-cheol, Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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