KGC’s key challenge: reinventing the wheel with new faces

A lot of new faces have joined the team, so it’s time to rebuild.

Anyang KGC Ginseng achieved a “perfect 10” in the 2020-2021 season. Jared Sullinger, a late-season foreign import, tore up the KBL, and a strong domestic roster synergized with Sullinger.

They made it to the championship game again in 2021-2022, and then again in 2022-2023 under new head coach Kim Sang-sik. They defeated Seoul SK in overtime in Game 7 to win their second consecutive title after the 2016-2017 season. As far as playoff wins go, V4.

KGC Ginseng had laid the foundation for a prestigious club, but in the summer of 2023, they faced a challenge. Yang Hee-jong, the team’s captain, retired, and Byun Jun-hyung (185 cm, G), the team’s field commander, and Han Seung-hee (197 cm, F), the team’s backup big man, joined the military. That alone was a huge loss of strength.

On top of that, the original core of Oh Se-geun 메이저사이트 (200 cm, C) and Moon Sung-gon (195 cm, F) left for free agency. Oh was a first-team player who led the team to four championships, and Moon was the KBL’s best defensive player for four consecutive seasons starting in the 2019-2020 season. In other words, they were the defensive core.

KGC Ginseng had to find a way to hold onto both of them. However, Moon Sung-gon left KGC first. He signed a five-year, 2023-2024 contract with Suwon KT for a total compensation of 780 million won. Even Oh Se-geun wore an SK jersey with a three-year, 2023-2024 contract totaling 750 million won. KGC Ginseng was shocked.

KGC Ginseng had to bolster their roster to the minimum. They retained another internal free agent, Bae Byeong-jun (contract: 3 years, 2023-2024 total compensation: 200 million won), and brought in external free agents Choi Sung-won (contract: 3 years, 2023-2024 total compensation: 400 million won), Jung Hyo-geun (contract: 3 years, 2023-2024 total compensation: 500 million won), and Lee Jong-hyun (contract: 1 year, 2023-2024 total compensation: 150 million won).

Park Ji-hoon (184 cm, G) and Lens Abando (188 cm, F) remain, but most of the starters have changed. We need to rebuild. The new players haven’t played together at all, so it’s important for the new KGC Ginseng to be organized.

Of course, it’s not an easy task. On top of that, KGC Ginseng ended its season on May 7, so the team can only start training in early July. They have a shorter off-season than other teams. A bad sign for KGC Ginseng, which needs to rebuild its team.

Also, the team is not sure if foreign players Omari Spellman (203 cm, F) and Darryl Monroe (196 cm, F) will be re-signed. If new foreign players are brought in, KGC Ginseng’s rebuilding process could take even longer. The same goes for the time it takes for the dust to settle.

Nevertheless, KGC Ginseng needs to reinvent the wheel. If they don’t adapt to change, they can’t expect to perform as well as they did in the 2022-2023 season. Even fighting for a playoff ticket could be a struggle. This would be a huge blow to the fans of KGC Ginseng, who would lose their championship team. That’s why the role of KGC Ginseng’s coaching staff and secretariat will be even more important this season.

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