Myeongji University returned to a 5-for-5 record with a 96-76 victory over Chosun University in their 2023 KUSF University Basketball U-League away 안전놀이터 game at Chosun University Gymnasium on Thursday. Sitting in a tie for fifth place with Hanyang University and Kyung Hee University, Myongji improved its chances of making the playoffs.
This is the first time Myungji has won a game by 20 points in the KU League. They have lost three times by more than 20 points, but their largest margin of victory was a 10-point win (83-73) against Sangmyung University on March 27. It was also the first time he scored more than 90 points.
Lee Min-chul (186 cm, G), who had 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and five steals, said after the win, “We lost the first three games, so we were all sagging. It feels good to win today (Nov. 24) with a big margin, and the preparation went well, so it was a game that reversed the sagging atmosphere.”
Although it was the biggest margin of victory this year, the 20 mistakes were painful. Considering that Chosun University usually loses by around 30 points, it can be said that the mistakes prevented them from winning by a larger margin.
Lee Min-cheol said, “The coach emphasizes fast breaks and orders fast basketball, so we sometimes make mistakes in the process of playing fast. We also make mistakes because we are greedy to attack. If we can reduce that, I think we can play a solid game.”
Myeongji University lost to Hanyang University in overtime on the 10th, despite playing a winnable game. If they had beaten Hanyang, they could have crossed the threshold into the eighth division of the playoffs.
Lee Min-cheol said, “It was hard to lose a game that we won in vain. Looking back, I think it will help us because we need to play such games to improve.”
Lee Min-cheol’s passing mistake at the end of the fourth quarter against Hanyang University was painful.
“We tried to set up a pattern, but we couldn’t communicate, so I got confused and made a mistake,” he said.
Myeongji University has four games left (Konkuk University, Dongguk University, Sungkyunkwan University, and Yonsei University). They need two more wins to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Lee Min-cheol said, “We need to reduce our mistakes first. There are times when we are attacking and we don’t move. We need to improve our movement by making more passes and cut-ins, and if we can communicate well while talking on defense, we will be able to secure a win.”
During this time, Myeongji Temple’s coach Kim Tae-jin served as the men’s national team coach for the Korea-Japan University Selection Basketball Tournament, and Myeongji Temple trained with coach Kim Sang-wook.
“We did a lot of basic training,” says Lee Min-chul. We trained a lot of movements that can be applied to the basics of the coach’s tactics, such as passing and cutting in.” “It helped me a lot. When you do a pattern, you move in a pattern and you only see the opportunity. (The drills) helped me to see a little more, and I could see the next situation.”
Lee Min-chul has been playing more as a sixth man in the college league. Coach Kim Tae-jin wanted Lee Min-chul, who has a lot of strength, to save his stamina for the end of the game. Thanks to this, Myeongjidae showed a strong backline. However, after the recent injuries to Park Ji-hwan and Kim Do-yeon, he will be starting.
Lee Min-cheol said, “The pressure is greater, and I’m the only ball handler, so I need to improve my physical strength. I need to reduce my mistakes so we can play better. My responsibility has increased.”
Myongji University will face KU, which has a 4-5 record, on Nov. 30. KU will meet Myongji after playing Dankook University on the 26th. Myeongji University needs to beat KU, which is a playoff contender.
Lee Min-cheol said, “KU has fast guards and a good center, so I need to step up my game, defend the center well, and play fast breaks. I will play with the intention of dying in that game.”