It was hard to do it alone.
Daegu KOGAS lost 62-87 to Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in the 2023-2024 regular season of the Korean Basketball League at Dongcheon Gymnasium in Ulsan on March 21. It was their first loss of the season and their seventh straight against Hyundai Mobis.
KOGAS lost its first-option foreign player, Isaiah Hicks (204 cm, F), to the Cup. They hastily acquired Andrew Nicholson (206 cm, F), who was an option 1 foreign player in the 2021-2022 season, but Nicholson will not be able to play against Hyundai Mobis.
Therefore, the performance of Anthony Morse (199 cm, C) was crucial. If Moss can hold out as long as possible, KOG can fight for the right to offer Hyundai Mobis. If Moss plays well, KOG can end the opening game on a high note.
Moss’s biggest task will be controlling Gage Prim (205 cm, C) and stopping Prim’s dominance under the basket. It was also Moss’s job to control Prim’s fast break and cut off his offense.
Moss held on as long as he could. He minimized Prim’s power. But his mid-range jumpers and penetration were not working. Moss’s missed shots led to fast breaks for Hyundai Mobis, and KOGAS gave up points in the worst way possible (fast break points were one of Coach Kang Hyuk’s pre-game warnings).
Meanwhile, KOGAS was down 14-22 to Hyundai Mobis. The mood needed to change, but Moss couldn’t rest. He had to stop Prim at all costs, minimizing Prim’s attacks under the basket.
At the same time, Hyundai Mobis showed more combativeness around the rim. With 48.3 and 38.7 seconds left in the first quarter, he drew foul free throws after offensive rebounds, and with 6.6 seconds left in the first quarter, he made a two-handed dunk on the other side of the HMC defense. Thanks to that, KOGAS held off Hyundai Mobis as it tried to pull away, 21-25.
Moss also took the court in the second quarter. An exquisite fake and pass from Yeom Yoo-sung (187 cm, G) was intended to be finished with a dunk, but Moss’s intentions didn’t pay off, and his mid-range jumper kept missing the rim. KOGAS was unable to pull off a comeback.
Hyundai Mobis then brought in Kebe Aluma (206 cm, F) 3 minutes and 4 seconds into the second quarter. Aluma is a different type of player than Prim. Moss’ offensive strategy had to change as well.안전놀이터
Instead of having Lee Dae-heon (196 cm, F) or Kim Dong-lang guarding Alumah, Moss would guard the Korean. Instead, he helped defend Aluma’s back-down move. However, the offensive strategy was no different than before. They looked for opportunities on the other side of the Korean big man.
But Moss needed a break. Acting head coach Kang Hyuk recognized this. With 4:41 left in the second quarter, he called Moss to the bench. He rested for two minutes and nine seconds before returning to the court. KOGAS’s court balance had completely collapsed.
Nevertheless, KOGAS was unable to close the gap with Hyundai Mobis. Moss’s strength had also dropped dramatically. She scored points under the basket, but it wasn’t a solution. KOGAS found themselves in an even bigger deficit, 44-65.
KOGAS’s defeat was sealed. But KOGAS wasn’t going to give up that easily. They had only played one game out of 54, so Moss focused on his basic duties as a big man: rebounding, transitioning, and setting screens.
It was also important to match up with the domestic players. This is because, assuming Nicholson is not fully healthy, Moss will have to endure a lot of minutes for the time being. That’s what he did in the remaining minutes against Hyundai Mobis. Finished the first game of the 2023-2024 season with 11 points and 8 rebounds (3 offensive) in 31:53 of action. He’ll have learned a lot of lessons, but the loss must have hurt.