“Do you think Yonsei’s freshmen still look stronger?” said Moon Yoo-hyun after the game.
Korea University won the KUSF 2023 University Basketball League Finals against Yonsei University at Hwajung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea, on March 14. The team completed a successful season by winning the MBC title, the regular season title, and the U League title.
Korea University solidified its status as the top team with its dominant performance last season, but it was also criticized for losing out to Yonsei in the recruiting competition ahead of this season. Moon Yoo-hyun, Yoon Ki-chan, Lee Dong-geun, Yoo Min-soo, and Lee Jae-min joined the team, but Yonsei, with U18 Asian Cup winners Lee Ju-young and Lee Chae-hyung, shooters Lee Hae-sol and Hong Sang-min and Kang Ji-hoon, who combine strength and height, was considered to have the edge.
In fact, during the winter training in Geoje, head coach Joo Hee-jung evaluated the freshmen’s skills and said, “There are still many areas to improve. Their advantages are clear, but it will take a long time and effort to adapt to team basketball,” she said.
However, the concerns and worries about KU’s freshmen proved to be unfounded. Moon Yoo-hyun and Lee Dong-geun grew into a one-two punch behind Park Mubin and Moon Jung-hyun to anchor KU’s starting lineup, while Yoon Ki-chan and Yoo Min-soo played multiple positions and were part of the main rotation. Lee Jae-min was unable to play due to injury, but was an energizer off the bench.
Despite the ups and downs of the season, including Moon Jung-hyun’s call-up to the national team, the call-ups of key players like Park Mubin and Kim Tae-hoon to the U.S. national team, and the injury to Park Jung-hwan, the freshmen played a big role in KU’s ability to have another dominant season.
Their performance was greatly motivated by the recruiting evaluations of Yonsei.
Lee Dong-geun, who led the team to victory in the last regular season, said, “It was hard to accept that Yonsei was the winner at the time. We were confident that our five strengths would shine through, and we prepared harder to prove it. I think the evaluation is gradually being overturned.”
Moon Yoo-hyun also said in an interview after the regular-season victory, “Do you think the Yonsei freshmen are stronger yet? I often mention the U18 Asian Cup and sometimes show my competitive side to (Lee) Joo-young or (Lee) Chae-hyung, but the pain of that time is like a medicine for me. We proved it in the league and MBC boat, and we laughed again in the regular season. Even if we meet in the U-League final, we will laugh,” he said, expressing his confidence.
Six days after the end of the regular season, they proved their confidence. The game was a seesaw affair throughout, and at one point in the third quarter, they fell behind by double digits, only to come back with a dramatic three-pointer just before the end. Freshman Yoo Hyun Moon was the hero of the game.카지노
Their performance helped KU win another championship. Although the core duo of Park Mubin and Moon Jung-hyun will be leaving for the professional stage, their growth will have a huge impact on KU’s ability to defend its crown next season.
In terms of performance this season, KU’s freshmen have given the Yonsei freshmen a run for their money. It will be interesting to see how this rivalry will heat up next season.