Kang Yi-seul (30, Cheongju KB Stars), the best shooter in women’s basketball, is showing off the power of “Kang Yi-seul” again after overcoming the chaos of the last season. The coach liked his outer artillery and defense.
KB Stars won 84-62 in an away game against Busan BNK Sum in the fifth round of the 2023-2024 Woori Bank Woori WON Women’s Professional Basketball at Sajik Indoor Stadium in Busan on the 26th.
As evidenced by the score in the 80s, KB Stars actively engaged in offense on the day. Kim Min-jung scored 13 points even after playing 13 minutes and 39 seconds, while Lee Hye-joo, in her third year, also scored seven points. Park Ji-soo, who missed the game after playing 21 minutes and 42 seconds, also scored 10 points and 14 rebounds.꽁머니환전
However, Kang Yi-seul was definitely contributing to the KB Stars’ victory. Playing 23 minutes and 10 seconds, he had 25 points, seven rebounds, one assist and two steals. Notably, he scored five three-point shots, and successfully made all six free throws, showing off his good shooting sense.
From the first quarter, Kang Yi-seul showed brisk activities. He scored three points at the start of the game, and he scored both inside and outside. After taking a break from the second quarter when KB Stars rotated through loopholes in the opponent team’s defense, he simply flew away in the third quarter after charging.
KB Stars Kang Yi-seul (right) is competing with Han Um-ji for a rebound ball against BNK on the 26th.
Taking part in defense, Kang had four rebounds and two steals to block BNK from chasing after him. He also made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the third quarter alone, making all six free throws that he garnered through bold attack attempts. KB Stars also scored 33 points in the third quarter, effectively determining the outcome.
After the game, KB Stars coach Kim Wan-soo said, “(Kang Yi-seul) seems to have woken up to what happened. If he gains confidence in defense, he will become a powerful player. He is an indispensable player for the team.” This suggests that Kang Yi-seul, who has not received much attention compared to his stellar offense, is displaying his defensive skills.
Kang Yi-seul said, “It is fortunate that I was able to win the start of the fifth round with a good performance. My performance has recently deteriorated, and I hope I can improve my performance by scoring today.”
As such, KB Stars proved to be in a bad spot even after winning the previous game. At the match against Hana One Q on Wednesday, the team almost lost due to consecutive turnovers even when its opponent Kim Jong Un and Jihyun Shin were absent. At the match against Samsung Life Insurance on Tuesday, the team was also neck-and-neck until the gap widened after mid-third quarter, and 20 turnovers were reported. “Players missed the basics in offense and defense. There were a lot of mistakes in defense that were postponed or promised, but as defense failed, it became a difficult offense,” Kang said.
Kang himself did not have a good sense of shooting lately. In the match against Woori Bank (22.2 percent) on Wednesday and the match against Hana One Q (27.3 percent) on Wednesday, his success rate of three-point shots was around 20 percent despite double-digit scores. On top of that, he failed to post any point in the first and second quarters of the game on Tuesday, and only made five attempts to shoot three-point shots (successful once).
In response, Kang started to practice and change his mind. “I increased my practice during break time,” he said. “I thought I should throw aggressively even if I don’t get in today (May 26). Maybe it was a matter of mind, but I thought I should throw aggressively, but I think my success rate went up.”
She is also displaying her aggressive attitude in defense. “Even if I miss the defense of the team, other players can cover it. However, rebound depends on my mindset. I try to be more active,” Kang said. She also cited her activism as her best point and said, “In the past, when I focused on offense, I used to play less focused or passive, but these days, I try to play aggressively even if I get a foul.”
“Looking back, I focused a lot on offense. It’s not like that anymore,” Kang Yi-seul said. “I lack defense compared to the league’s offense and defense chiefs, but I’m improving.” “If the offense doesn’t work, the game doesn’t work out, but even if the offense doesn’t work out, I think it’s less ups and downs after I realize that I have to help in defense and rebound,” he said.
Kang Yi-seul is shedding tears after winning the championship game in the 2021-22 season.
After moving to KB Stars in the 2021-22 season, Kang Yi-seul played an average of 33 minutes and 07 seconds in 28 games that year, scoring 18.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. In particular, he ranked first in the two categories with 90 successful 3-point shots and a 42.9 percent success rate. His team also won the title in both the regular league and the championship game with a winning rate of 80 percent (0.833, 25 wins and 5 losses).
Without ace Park Ji-soo last season, KB Stars fell to fifth place and failed to advance to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. Kang Yi-seul himself saw his success rate of three-point shooting fall to 29.9 percent due to opponent teams’ check. However, Kang has proved himself as the “shooter of Joseon” by rising to 35.1 percent again this season. KB Stars has also won eight consecutive games and is recording a winning rate of around 900,000 (0.905, 19 wins and 2 losses).
On the team’s change from two years ago, Kang Yi-seul said, “Back then, it was offensive basketball. I gave 70 points and scored 80 points. (This season) my defense has improved compared to that time. I also try to maintain my offense. Even if I can’t attack, I like that part because I come out in a game where I keep my runs low and win.”