In the meantime, Korean basketball has been stingy with ‘challenge’. In the case of baseball and soccer, the best prospects in middle and high school or players who are evaluated as top players on the professional stage tend to go abroad, but basketball was different. Regardless of success or failure, he was reluctant to take on challenges.
However, recently, the challenge of basketball prospects is gradually increasing. Among them, along with Lee Hyun-joong, who graduated from NCAA Davidson University, Yeo Jun-seok, the most notable Korean basketball hopeful, is planning to enroll at Gonzaga University, a prestigious US college basketball player.
Gonzaga University announced on its official website on the 17th (Korean time), “Yeo Jun-seok will join the college basketball team and will play in the NCAA men’s basketball game as a sophomore from the 2023-2024 season.”
Gonzaga University, where Yeo Jun-seok will play, is one of the best college basketball schools in the U.S. that needs no explanation.
They finished runner-up in the ‘March Madness’ NCAA Tournament just two years ago, and have been seeded as the regional #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament four times in the past five years. In addition, from 1999 to last year, they reached the quarterfinals five times and reached the round of 16 12 times. This season, too, is cruising with 16 wins and 3 losses.
In the recently announced AP Top 25 rankings for the 2022-2023 season, Gonzaga University was ranked 6th in the nation.
In addition, Gonzaga University is also a school that has produced many active NBA leaguers. It is famous for being the school that produced John Stockton, the legendary point guard of the Utah Jazz. As for active NBA players, Japanese nationality Rui Hachimura (Washington), who is best known to domestic fans, Domantas Sabonis, the best big man in the NBA who is leading Sacramento’s sensation this season, Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City, 2nd pick in the 2022 NBA Draft) ), Jayleen Suggs (Orlando), and Corey Kispert (Washington) are also alumni of Gonzaga University.
For this reason alone, Yeo Jun-seok’s admission to Gonzaga University is inevitably a hot topic.
Joo Joo-hun, a sports columnist who mainly deals with NCAA college basketball, viewed Yeo Jun-seok’s admission to Gonzaga University positively, saying that it was a good choice in many ways. Columnist Ju Ji-Hoon Joon-Hoon’s optimistic view of Yeo Jun-Seok’s admission to Gonzaga University can be summarized into three main points. Among them, the main columnist paid attention to ‘Showcase’.
He said, “The most anticipated part is the showcase. Gonzaga University is located in the western United States, so many games are played in large cities such as Las Vegas, LA, and San Francisco. So, NBA scouts tend to visit the stadium with a lot of interest, but the NBA challenge For Yeo Jun-seok, who needs ‘interest’ for ‘, a good environment has been prepared for a showcase.”
Universities belonging to the West Coast Conference (WCC), including Gonzaga University, have traditionally had a lot of foreign players. The well-known Japanese NBA leaguer Rui Hachimura, Sabonis (Lithuania), and Matthew Dellavedova (Australia) are all non-American players. Therefore, the opinion of the main columnist is that there will be no great difficulties in adapting to school life.
The main columnist said, “WCC schools, to which Gonzaga University belongs, are open to recruiting foreign players. All of the top 3 schools in the Western Coast Conference, such as Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, and Brigham Young, are famous for bringing in a lot of foreign players. Such is the case with Dellavedovana, an Australian national, and Sabonis, a European.
What kind of school is Gonzaga University?
Third is the schedule. The WCC, to which Gonzaga University belongs, has a more relaxed schedule and difficulty compared to other conferences. In other words, it means that it is easy to manage physical strength and manage injuries.
Regarding this, the main columnist said, “Except for Gonzaga, St. Mary, and Brigham Young, which are classified as the top 3 in the WCC itself, the rest of the teams are composed of underdog teams. There is no need to work physically,” he said. “In fact, among college players belonging to the WCC, including Gonzaga, if you look at players who play one season and challenge for the NBA draft, there are few players with a history of major injuries. It’s one of the conferences that are doing well,” he said.
Gonzaga University coach Mark Pugh took over the baton in 1999 and has been leading the team for over 20 years. Having been rooted in only one place for 24 years, he has lifted the conference championship trophy 21 times and is known as a famous master in the field, recording a career record of 674 wins and 132 losses (83.6% win rate).
It is great that the United States, the center of world basketball, was very interested in a young prospect from South Korea, which is one of the underdeveloped countries in basketball. That means that Yeo Jun-seok went through the national team by age group and the G-League showcase stage to prove his own skills and was recognized.
The main columnist said, “There is coach Mark Pew, who is one of the best coaches in the NCAA. Lee Hyun-joong’s teacher we know well, former coach Bob McKillop, was also evaluated as a master coach in the NCAA, but he never went to the Final Four during his coaching career. However, Coach Pew has been the runner-up in the madness of March and has a history of advancing to the Final Four in No. 2. It is a good thing for Yeo Jun-seok to be directly guided by the best NCAA master.”
At the same time, he also explained what kind of team color Gonzaga University basically uses. The main columnist said, “Not only Gonzaga University, but most schools belonging to the WCC pursue basketball centered on organizational power.” The overall basketball style is organized enough to be used.”
Of course, as an Asian, in order to compete on the American stage, you must never be good at basketball. First of all, language barriers must be overcome, and cultural differences must be overcome.
In the midst of this, concerns are already emerging that Yeo Jun-seok’s biggest stumbling block in the future may be his academics, not his basketball skills. In the NCAA, you can compete only when you earn a certain level of credit. In the past, while attending the University of Maryland, Choi Jin-soo was disqualified from participating in the game due to poor grades, and eventually chose a U-turn to Korea, leaving behind a sad precedent.
It was because of academic problems that Yeo Jun-seok could not go straight to the NCAA after completing his studies in Australia and turned to Korea. 스포츠토토
When the main columnist heard the news about Yeo Jun-seok, he couldn’t help but worry about ‘language’ and ‘study’. Continuing his speech, he said, “Language and academics will be the biggest obstacles in adapting, but Gonzaga University is a Jesuit-affiliated school, so the academic management is thorough. That’s why it’s not easy to get credits.” There is a well-established system related to academics at the school level, such as assigning one-on-one tutors to students. As academics are just as important as basketball, you should make good use of these systems and devote a lot of time and effort to your studies.” did.
+Gonzaga University TMI+
① Gonzaga University, where Yeo Jun-seok will enter, is a school with a very deep relationship with Korea. As a school that has a sisterhood relationship with Sogang University in Korea, there is an international academic building named after Gonzaga and a dormitory building inside Sogang University.
② Gonzaga University WCC monopolizes broadcasting rights from ESPN and CBS. In other words, it means that it can receive a lot of attention nationwide. In addition, the WCC is not a very competitive conference within the first division of NCAA men’s basketball, but currently Gonzaga University is moving away from small and medium-sized conferences such as the WCC and is seeking to move to a larger conference. In fact, it is rumored that behind-the-scenes work on the conference relocation is underway, such as several meetings between the president of the Big-12 and Big East conferences and the president of Gonzaga University. If Gonzaga University relocates to the Big 12 or Big East Conference, they can often face off against prestigious basketball schools such as the University of Kansas and Villanova.
③ Due to the tendency of the WCC, where there are many religious schools, each school is managing students’ behavior well. In the past year alone, incidents such as gun murders have occurred regularly in Virginia, Alabama, etc. in the United States, but it is said that there were no gun accidents or unsavory scandals at schools belonging to the WCC. That’s how safe it is, and it’s also a conference where you can focus only on basketball.