Why Director Jeon Hee-chul loves Kim Sun-hyung: “I’ve failed a few times…”

“I actually wanted to put it in at the start of the fourth quarter.”

Seoul SK defeated Goyang Sono 80-71 in an away game in the third round of the 2023-2024 regular season at Goyang Sono Arena on Nov. 21.

Despite dominating the first and second quarters, it wasn’t easy. SK jumped out to a 29-11 lead in the first quarter. Sono self-destructed with three airballs in the first quarter alone. SK picked up the pace of their offense with long fastbreaks and scored easy points with ease.

By the end of the second quarter, it was even wider. The score was 50-26 in favor of SK. The mood on the field was already completely in SK’s favor.

However, the third quarter was too quick for them. They couldn’t stop Jeon Sung-hyun’s 3-pointers. Once the outside was open, they fell to Chinanu Onuaku inside.

At the end of the fourth quarter, they were down by six points. They eventually won, but it left a bad taste in their mouths. After the game, SK head coach Jeon Hee-cheol lamented that “our performance was up and down.”

It was Kim Sun-hyung who saved the day for SK with his quick breakthroughs that shook up the Sono defense. Kim finished with 17 points on the day. He led the team’s offense in place of Jamil Warney (12 points), who was blocked by Onuaku.

Currently, Kim is not fully fit. Last season, he played until Game 7 of the championship final with an injury, and in the summer, he joined the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games. As a result, the coach decided to use Kim as a sixth man.

The coach carefully manages Kim’s playing time. Between 20 and 25 minutes is the sweet spot. After 25 minutes, his stamina drops rapidly. “I wanted to put (Kim) on as soon as the fourth quarter started,” he said, “but I’ve seen it happen a few times in the past when I used him quickly and it didn’t work out. Three, four times. I couldn’t play him because he was tired. If you just want to dribble and give the ball to Warney, you can use Choi Won-hyuk or Oh Jae-hyun.”

Encouragingly, Kim’s form is slowly improving. His recent performances have been much improved compared to his sluggish start to the season. His speed and shooting touch are also returning to the player we know.

Coach Jeon Hee-chul said, “Now that the players who were on the bench have become the main players, it becomes very frustrating to attack when Wony is blocked. It’s hard to attack because they are defensive players. In such a situation, Sun Hyung-i did a good job.” “Currently, Sun Hyung-i plays about five minutes per quarter, but the goal is to increase it to seven minutes. His physical condition has improved a lot. If he plays longer, it will be more comfortable for Warney.”

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