From the perspective of Jeonju KCC, Laguna (33‧200.5cm) is a ‘double-edged sword’. Although he is not as good as he was in his prime, it is because he is a player who can play the role of the best 2 options and a good 1 option compared to foreign opponents. With Laguna, there is no chance that the 1st and 2nd options will fail at once. In fact, even though Tyler Davis, who played the role of the main foreign player last season, left in the middle of the season, he filled the vacancy in his own way, and that appearance continues until this season.
On the other hand, since he has a multi-year contract as a naturalized player, it can be a considerable burden to continue working together, whether he likes it or not. The proportion of foreign players in the KBL league is very large. No matter how excellent the native players are, it is difficult to achieve good results if the competitiveness of foreign players is low.
For this reason, their contribution is reviewed every year to decide whether to renew the contract, but KCC is tied to such an opportunity itself. Even if you want to create a new game with two new foreign players, it is impossible during the contract period. Whether you like it or not, you have to go with Laguna, but it is true that the disadvantages of that have a big impact on the KCC power composition as much as the advantages.
Of course, if you select a better 1st option foreign player than Laguna, such concerns will be largely resolved. It’s not that there are no problems at all, such as soothing Laguna, who has a somewhat sensitive personality, but it’s a part that can be overcome internally. Unfortunately, KCC has not been able to bring more players than Laguna except for half a season with Tyler Davis. In the end, it is a situation where Laguna continues to play the role of 1 option, and as a result, it is not receiving much power from foreign players.
Compared to foreign players visiting Korea, La Gun-ah is not particularly ahead in terms of physical condition and athletic ability. The same goes for the technical part. However, based on his physical strength, which is considered his greatest strength, he has been highly evaluated for his energy level of running diligently and running again. Unlike foreign players who need to adapt to the league, he gets along well with native players based on his rich domestic league experience and knows the key players of the opposing team. This is the biggest difference between Laguna and other foreign players.
However, as if the flow of time could not be stopped, La Gun-ah is now showing a slight decline in his activity and physical abilities compared to his heyday. Unless he is the type to play basketball with great BQ like Ham Ji-hoon, his contribution to the team will also decrease. Coach Jeon Chang-jin of KCC, where he currently plays, and his teammates must feel this better than anyone else.
As if to prove this, recently, director Jeon has often expressed his regret for Laguna. In particular, on the 17th against Samsung, when he finished with 5 points and 5 rebounds in 25 minutes, he sighed deeply, saying, “Laguna’s dominance in the paint zone is not like before.” Above all, with the departure of Marcus Derrickson, Emmanuel Terry wanted to see a match against Samsung, where he spent a lot of time, but it seemed to be a big regret that that part was not done.
Of course, it is true that Laguna’s performance was down that day. However, when looking at the season as a whole, Laguna is performing well with an average of 15.77 points, 1.36 assists, and 12.27 rebounds (2nd overall). In particular, his average playing time is 28 minutes and 29 seconds, which is by no means short.
Above all, Laguna is playing the game with a lot of responsibility for the under-the-goal shooter throughout the season. Even the foreign player who plays together at KCC, which already lacks tall resources, is Ronde Hollis Jefferson (27‧198cm),스포츠토토 a swingman style. It is correct to say that there are few players who can add strength in the post except for Lee Seung-hyun. Moreover, due to the so-called ‘Little Guard Jin’, which is small in height and not high in energy level, it has a large role to play when defending. This is because the defense of the guards is weak, so they can break through from the front line.
In such a situation, in the recent winning game, he led the team by posting a record above the average. In particular, before the Samsung match, he took an average of more than 30 minutes in 3 games and ran a forced march, and as a result, opinions are pouring out from inside and outside that ‘the need to adjust Laguna’s physical strength’. This is because the playstyle itself consumes a lot of stamina, so we know that it is not easy to be active without proper rest.
Moreover, since Laguna has been constantly playing games, going back and forth between tight league schedules and international matches, even an iron man cannot help but have physical problems. Of course, it is true that if Laguna is not on the court due to the team’s power with low competitiveness under the goal, the low height will drop dramatically. However, there is a problem with relying solely on Raguna.
The KCC club and the former manager are probably the ones who know best about the current Laguna. If so, it is correct that we should have prepared a suitable roster composition, various utilization plans, and plans A and B in the absence of Laguna from before the season. Even if the process of Jefferson’s arrival due to the conflict with Davis is unavoidable, many point out that it is regrettable that he is not able to utilize the considerable amount of big man resources.
Except for some, there are many opinions that only guard resources, which have little effect on power, should not be laid out excessively, and that big men should also be given opportunities for motivation. Currently, the center of the goal is Laguna, so even if it’s only for a short while and fights, that alone is helpful. In the meantime, experience points can be accumulated.
In the match against Samsung on the 17th, when Jo Woo-sung (10 points, 10 rebounds), who was selected in the 3rd round of the 2021 draft, played a big role, voices of envy broke out among KCC fans. It is not known whether Jo Woo-sung will continue to perform well today, but even so, as experience accumulates and the number of active players increases, that will soon become the player base. It can motivate players and spark competition.
Some players may say that he doesn’t use his style because it doesn’t suit him, but even that type is melted into his basketball and used as a mercenary technique. There is still a lot of season left. If KCC seeks a turnaround even in the second half of the season, it seems undesirable to drive some of the starting players for an immediate win. Above all, it is pointed out that since the base of the goal is weak, it is necessary to manage the travel time of Ra Gun-ah and Lee Seung-hyun more meticulously.