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Countdown to Tipoff: Jin Soo Choi

Jin Soo needs to step up big time on defense while Dino's out.  Otherwise, LM, Jordan Williams and James Padgett are going to be some very tired Terps.
Jin Soo needs to step up big time on defense while Dino's out. Otherwise, LM, Jordan Williams and James Padgett are going to be some very tired Terps.

Jin Soo Choi

#11 / Forward / Maryland Terrapins




Today's "Countdown to Tipoff" segment features everybody's favorite Division 1 South Korean born basketball player, Jin Soo Choi, (formerly Jin Soo Kim.)  

Jin Soo instantly became a fan-favorite last season after dropping 20 points in an exhibition game against Northwood University...but then fell into relative obscurity as the season progressed.  Why?  Well, he's 6-8 and 185 pounds.  Let me repeat.  6-8.  185 pounds.  I've seen girls in middle school with bigger chests and arms than Jin Soo. 

Now, the reason that this is important is because Jin Soo is sort of in-between positions.  He's got the height of a power forward but his weight makes him more of a small forward.  The problem for Jin Soo is that there is already a log jam of players at the three position and very few at the four.  Therefore, if he wants to see time, it's going to be at the power forward spot.  This scares the hell out of me, but before we get to Jin Soo's projection for the season, let's take a closer look at his game.

His Game:  

JSC's greatest strength is his shooting.  He was known as a shooter coming out of high-school and despite limited opportunities, has shown that he has the ability to nail the three.  The fact that he's 6-8 helps, as he is able to see over shorter defenders and can get his shot off relatively easily.  If Jin Soo ends up playing the four, he can draw bigger and slower defenders outside to the three line which can open things up in the paint.  

In addition to his height and his shooting touch, Jin Soo plays fundamental, solid defense and loves to fly around the court.  

Unfortunately, Choi seems to fly around too much and often looks confused.  More unfortunate is the fact that despite his fundamentals on defense, he is unable to really defend anybody at the four spot because of his weight.  He just gets pushed around in the paint too much.  There's been numerous occasions, (including one in last night's exhibition game,) where Jin Soo tries to get position for a rebound and simply gets thrown out of the way.  If this happens against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, what's going to happen against Derrick Favors, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Trevor Booker?  The bottom line is, JSC at the 4 spot could be disastrous because unless he gets on Friedgen's pre-Medifast diet, he's going to have a hard time covering anybody down low.

A Slightly Less Baseless Projection:   

Now, if I wrote this post yesterday, it would have been a lot different than it is today.  The loss of Dino Gregory has a huge impact on Jin Soo Choi's season.  With Dino (and Steve Goins) out, we're left with Landon Milbourne, and the two freshmen bigs in the front-court.  That's not a whole lot of depth.  And if one gets in foul trouble, the other two are going to be logging major minutes.   

With Dino out, Gary needs to have Jin Soo play some at the four spot.  And that's exactly where Choi played for most of last night.  This really scares me because I can't see him banging down low with any ACC bigs.  We need Dino back.  But until that happens, JSC is going to be playing significant minutes.  I've offered two projections for Jin Soo Choi: one with Dino out, and one with Dino in.

Without Dino Eligible

Pts Reb Min
4.4 3.3 10.8

  With Dino Eligibile

Pts Reb Min
2.9 2.2 8.1


What do you guys think?  Are you comfortable with Jin Soo playing some 4?  Am I being too hard on the guy?  Lets hear it.