Can Samsung show a changed face?
The Seoul Samsungs have been a league underdog for the past few years. They haven’t participated in spring basketball since the 2016-2017 season. The last two seasons have been particularly embarrassing, as they finished in last place.
However, the beginning of last season was a different story. With a new head coach, Eun Hee-seok, and a grueling off-season training regimen, the team burst out of the gate with a 6-4 record through cohesive movement and organized basketball. However, injuries to key players faltered the team, resulting in a last-place finish.
In the offseason, the team lost Lee Ho-hyun (184 cm, G), who bounced between the bench and the starting lineup, and Jang Kook-kook (199 cm, F), who announced his retirement. The team re-signed Lee Dong-yeop (193 cm, G), but the roster was even weaker. To compensate, the team tried to sign Choi Jun-yong (200 cm, F), but that didn’t work out.
As a result, Samsung once again had an “air conditioned league” that didn’t yield big results, but that doesn’t mean the outlook is bleak. Last season, we saw the growth potential of Lee Won-seok (206 cm, C) and Shin Dong-hyuk (191 cm, F). Kim Jin-young (193 cm, G) and Cha Min-seok (199 cm, F) are also back with the team. Add to that Kim Si-rae (178 cm, G) and Lee Jung-hyun (193 cm, G) in the center, and you have the makings of another great year.
However, their chances of making it to spring basketball are still not high. A number of teams made significant additions this offseason, most notably Suwon KT and Jeonju KCC, who finished in the middle of the pack last season, adding max-age players Moon Sung-gon (196 cm, F) and Choi Jun-yong (200 cm, F). They also have Heo Hoon (180 cm, G) and Song Kyo-chang (200 cm, F), who will be moving on from Sangmu. DB didn’t make any big signings either, but they thickened their roster by bringing in ‘quality’ players.
Top teams Seoul SK, Changwon LG, and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis also got stronger. Even if Daegu KOGAS and Anyang KGC are weaker, it’s still unclear whether Samsung will be able to dominate the mid-table battle.
Objectively, they are weaker. But as long as they’re healthy, they’re still competitive. It will be interesting to see if they can restore their honor next season 토토사이트.