Incheon counting on Jung to step up game

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Incheon counting on Jung to step up game

The Incheon ET Land Elephants boast one of the best frontcourts in the league, but will need guard Jung Young-sam to step up his game if the team has any hope of overtaking the first-place Busan KT Sonicboom, which is two games ahead of the Elephants.

Incheon’s coaching staff is banking on 27-year-old guard to take some of the load off the team’s frontcourt stars Seo Jang-hoon, Moon Tae-jong and Herbert Hill.

“We need our guards to play better from the perimeter,” said ET Land head coach Yoo Do-hoon. “Jung Young-sam needs to start playing better.”

Jung is a shooting guard who drives to the basket well. He also has a decent shot, having connected on 37.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. But with the hot hands of Hill and Moon, Jung has focused on his passing. It can also make it difficult for Jung to drive to the basket with Incheon’s big men crowding the paint.

As a result, Jung is averaging 7.3 points per game this season, which is the fourth year pro’s lowest scoring average.

“Jung needs to produce at Choo’s level,” said Yoo. “He can shoot with confidence like Choo, but has not done that so far this season. I’ve asked Jung to be more selfish and throw up more shots.”

Jung responded with a strong outing against the Daegu Orions on Tuesday, scoring 14 points and connecting on four 3-pointers to help ET Land to a come-from-behind 78-75 win. Jung threw up shots without hesitation and was able to draw defenders out of the low post to free up his teammates in the paint. As of Tuesday, ET Land sat two games back of Busan in the standings. With Jung starting to play well, ET Land is looking for a late spurt to overtake KT.

“We’re continuing to look for ways to include Jung more in our offense,” said Yoo.


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

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