Bucheon Hana OneQ, which finished in last place again last season, has begun to raise its game early.
The team began training in mid-April, and after four weeks of fitness and conditioning checks, the team set up a base camp at the Taebaek O2 Resort for two weeks from May 15-27.
During the team’s vacation following the end of the 2022-23 season, the front office and coaching staff used the time to reinforce their strengths and clean up some of their mistakes. The result was quite a few changes. Kim Ji-young and Kim Ye-jin departed for Incheon Shinhan Bank and Cheongju KB Stars, respectively. Lee Chae-eun also moved to KB Stars. Lee Jung-hyun and Choi Min-joo chose to retire.
Kim Jong-un’s arrival and the addition of Uhm Seo-i and Choi Ji-seon
Kim Jong-un, Choi Ji-seon, and Uhm Seo-i joined the roster. Kim made her debut with Hana OneQ and returned to her family after spending the last six years with Woori Bank. Uhm Seo-i is a compensation player for Kim Ye-jin, and Choi Ji-seon switched to the Hana One Q uniform from KB Stars in a trade with Lee Chae-eun. Kim Ji-young also left the team as a compensation player for Kim Jong-un.
Kim was recruited with the expectation of playing a role as a center and court leader. He was brought in with the expectation that his experience with Hana One Q and his experience as a top player in the league would complement the ‘experience’ that is considered to be Hana One Q’s weakness.
Coach Kim Do-wan said, “I don’t expect much. I don’t want to put pressure on them. I just think that I will pass on my long WKBL experience while living with the younger players. I think they will take care of themselves.”
As mentioned above, Kim made his debut with the Hana OneQ and was recognized as one of the best players in the league. At 37 years old in South Korea, Kim was clearly on the cusp of an age curve, but he proved in last season’s championship that he had “one or two more years left in him,” and Hana OneQ, in need of a focal point and court leader, snatched him up.
Not only the team, but also Kim himself is said to have wooed him through several meetings.
This free agency period can be seen as a success for the team, as they have been able to strengthen their interior, which was a weakness, and clean up their guard lineup. While Kim’s absence is obvious, the team plans to minimize it by bringing in a potential forward in Choi Ji-seon.
“I actually thought about it a little bit more, but it was difficult in reality,” Kim said. Now that the roster is organized, we will fill in the gaps and build up our strength until the season.”
What role should Kim play and how should teams utilize him?
Kim is the oldest player in the league. Hana OneQ is the youngest of the six teams in the WKBL. As mentioned above, this is the biggest reason why Hana Wonq made a big push to sign Kim. He made his debut with Hana One Q, so there’s definitely some affection there. Kim should bring a winning mentality to the team and fill in the gaps of experience in the squad.
His physical condition is a bit of a concern. With a nagging knee injury, Kim’s playing time is limited. He needs to shake off the pressure and refrain from being too competitive. It’s also essential for the bench to control his playing time. If Kim Jong-un, who was recruited with the keyword of improving his physical condition, struggles to play due to injuries, Hana OneQ could be disappointed with their choice.
Newcomer Uhm Seo-i will need to contribute from all over the inside, while Choi Ji-seon will also need to contribute with his defense and outside shooting.
Uhm Seo-i has received a lot of attention as a backup, but she hasn’t been as good as expected. The same goes for Choi Ji-seon. Uhm Seo-i joined BNK, then KB Stars, and now Hana OneQ. Choi Ji-seon was given another chance when she moved from Shinhan Bank to KB Stars and then to Hana OneQ.
The growth and adaptation of these two players is essential for Hana OneQ and Kim, who signed them with the keyword of securing backups.
Things that need to change
During my two days in Taebaek, I was able to have many conversations with Mr. Kim. I should have. For a team that hasn’t been out of the bottom half of the table for years, there are many things that need to change. Kim conveyed his thoughts and asked for outside opinions.
Hana OneQ had two major weaknesses in the previous season. They were an objective lineup disadvantage and a lack of concentration in matchups. HanaWonQ’s core, Shin Ji-hyun and Yang In-young, are clearly weaker than other teams’ cores. The backups can’t be said to have an advantage over other teams either. As a result, their ability to go beyond the match is weak.
To perform at a certain level, player composition is essential. Hana OneQ has virtually no lineup to break through. This is why the team didn’t receive much criticism last season, even though they lost a lot of games. It was hard for them to outperform other teams in terms of player composition.
Shin Ji-hyun and Yang In-young were the core, Kim Ji-young, Kim Ye-jin, Kim Mi-yeon, Kim Anna, and Lee Ha-eun were the main players, and Jung Yerim, Park So-hee, Park Jin-young, and Ko Na-yeon were the gods.
For the record, Shin Ji-hyun and Yang In-young played some roles, but they were not as good as the other team’s one-two punch. Kim Ji-young and Kim Ye-jin showed their presence on defense, but their offense was clearly limited. Jung Yerim’s growth in the new lineup, Park So-hee’s distribution, and Go Na-yeon’s boldness stood out, but unfortunately, Park Jin-young had to leave the lineup early due to injury.
“One of my main tasks after taking over was to improve the skills of the younger players,” said Kim. I spent a lot of time with them to the point where they were misunderstood by the existing players. This off-season will be no different. Only when these players improve will we be able to take our game to the next level.”
General secretary Kim Ki-rim has also been working with Kim on a long-term project to improve the team’s performance, setting in motion a plan to build a squad with a long view. “It’s not necessarily about winning. We just need to create a team culture that fits Hana OneQ,” says Kim, who is working on changing the team culture in the big picture.
In addition to being visible, Hana One Q also needs to eliminate the pervasive sense of defeat. It needs to improve its constitution. This is another reason why Kim Jong-un’s appointment is so important. Kim Jong-un has also talked a lot about this.
Kim has been trying to change the roster since his appointment with the keyword of improving the constitution, and he seems to be working on changing the atmosphere through proper communication. He said that he is applying various methods.
Disappointment, trial and error, and…
Looking back on last season, Kim characterized it as a season of disappointment. And rightly so. Despite the changes, the team was still at the bottom of the standings. “After all, it’s not easy being a head coach. There was a lot of trial and error. It was a season where I was able to learn and feel a lot of things.”
Hana OneQ struggled with a series of injuries last season, but Kim said that aside from that, there were no shortage of trials and errors.
As a result, Kim said he is making changes to his leadership and team management. He talked about making changes in how he generates power, communication, and game management. He also said that it is his responsibility to create an active athletic atmosphere by giving autonomy and responsibility.
It seems that he is making changes to the way he leads the team along with changes to the roster, both big and small. It’s a necessary change.스포츠토토
The off-season roster changes in recent years have been somewhat positive. It’s certainly a different two months than the one that brought question marks around the keywords free agency and trades. The holes in the defense from the departures of Kim Ji-young and Kim Ye-jin cannot be erased, but the signing of Kim Jong-un and the addition of two potential players could be a plus. The most important keyword is improvement
This is the current and off-season for Hana Won-Q and Kim, who will be tested once again.