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Jun 25, 2017 - 01:58 AM

Slam Dunk: Team Ryonan




Background:
Ryonan has never been into the IH games. The top teams that rule the Kanagawa district have always been Shoyo and Kainan. After Jun Uozumi joined the team, coach Taoko was sure that Ryonan would be able to enter the IH tournament when Uozumi is a senior. He hoped that Mitsui, Miyagi and Rukawa would join Ryonan to complete his dream team with Uozumi and Sendoh, but he failed because they all chose to join Shohoku. Taoko was a player himself, he told his players that he is one year older than Kainan's coach Muto. He described himself as Sendoh and Muto as Rukawa; his players laughed hard... What he wanted to tell was that they have been rivals since their time as players. Taoko is a good coach who is able to analyze the opponent's weak points, but he is also very strict. His trainings are hard: his players already sweat by the thoughts of their training... He recognizes the true powers of Sendoh as a point guard, while a lot of people only see his scoring powers.


Tactics:
Ryonan has different kind of styles of playing offense. In their match vs Kainan, Sendoh played as a point guard for the first time. For the offensive power they have Uozumi as center and Fukuda as forward. Sendoh was let to play Maki directly, because Taoko fully believed that Sendoh has the potential of becoming even stronger than Maki. Second year Fukuda is a marvelous forward, which is also the reason that Taoko used the "Isolation" tactic against Shohoku. Sakuragi was set to play one-on-one with Fukuda, but he wasn't able to stop the scoring powers of Fukuda. Mitsui had to take over this task when Sakuragi left the court being injured. Sendoh, Uozumi and Fukuda are probably the strongest offensive team of Kanagawa.

Their defense is man-to-man as well as zone defense, depending on their opponent. In general Ryonan is a good defensive team: Sendoh, Uozumi and especially Ikegami are Ryoanan's best defensive players.

Taoko is a good coach, who understands his players and makes good analysis of the teams. Still, he made a few mistakes: 1) he thought Fukuda needed to be treated very hard, but didn't notice that Fukuda's pride was even higher than Sendoh's till he exploded, 2) he underestimated the powers of Kogure and let him hit a three-pointer unguarded and 3) he was surprised by Sakuragi's abilties.



Weak points:
Ryonan doesn't have very capable players, they are okay, but there's a big level difference between genius Sendoh, the only talented player, and the others. Basically, the team is worthless without Sendoh on the court: he's not only the creator but also the mental support to all his teammates. But after all, basketball is a team sport and you might win over weak teams, but for the IH games you really need a balanced team with different kind of players.

Uozumi worked hard for his status and ability, but he's kinda short tempered and loses his calmness easily. His might be a major reason that Ryonan lost to Kainan, and perhaps also Shohoku. He is wearing the no.4 (captain) jersey, but he knows that Sendoh is much more capable to be the leader of the team. He would be a much better player if he hadn't had to play as team captain and carry that pressure. But still, without Uozumi Ryonan is not able to hold stand against strong teams, such as Shohoku.

This team might have very strong offensive powers, but they don't have a long-range shooter such as Kainan's Jin and Shohoku's Mitsui. Which also means that their shooting range can be declined to the bucket (close to the basket). Fukuda might be quite unstoppable under the boards but won't be able to hit the basket if he is outside the paint.


























#4 Uozumi Jun aka The King of the Apes and Big Jun
3rd year
Center
202 cm, 90 kg

Team captain Uozumi had experienced two very tough first years of highschool basketball, in which he wanted to give up several times because he could not keep up with the others when it came down to stamina. He has little talent but he trained very hard to become one of the best centers in Kanagawa. According to Akagi, Uozumi has reached the national level. His coach Taoko strongly believed that Uozumi would take the team to the top in his year as a senior.

Due to his struggles in the past Uozumi is mentally quite strong, we have never seen the Ryonan captain break down against any opponent. His major weakness is his short temper at the crucial moments. It was also said that he played when he didn't have to carry the team as captain. He admitted that Sendoh would make a better captain than him. Also, knowing that Sendoh would replace him after retirement, he was able to leave the team without worries.

Uozumi's strongest rival is Akagi and although Ryonan beat Shohoku several times before, people considered Akagi as the stronger center. So Uozumi is very eager to beat Akagi, however, he is also been a great supporter of Shohoku and Akagi in the IH tournament. He played an important encouraging role when Akagi broke down against the superior Sannoh center Kawata.

It's also rumored that Uozumi is Inoue sensei's favorite character... I have no evidence to support this though.

#5 Ikegami Ryoji
3rd year
Small forward
188 cm, 83 kg

He is the best defensive player of Ryonan. He was brought in the second half vs Shohoku to guard Mitsui. He gave everything to stop the marvelous long-range shooter. He said he didn't want to have any regrets; a thought that was shared by all the other seniors as well.


#6 Koshino Hiroaki
2nd year
Shooting Guard
174 cm, 62 kg

He is a very proud player with a short temper. He is a fighter for victory and won't give up easily. He is quite serious and that's why he couldn't stand Sakuragi's playful and respectless behavior during the practice match. He's an average player with no special abilities, but really has the urge to win. His looks remind me of Mitsui in junior high...


#7 Sendoh Akira
2nd year
Point guard and Small Forward
190 cm, 79 kg

click here to read Sendoh's profile

#8 Uekusa Tomoyuki
2nd year
Point guard
170 cm, 62 kg

He was the point guard before Sendoh changed his position in the team. He is said to be a very capable point guard with a good stamina, but I doubt it. After the first half he was already exhausted after playing Miyagi... He couldn't play the whole match out.

#13 Fukuda Kicchou
2nd year
Power forward
188 cm, 80 kg

Fukuda is a very good forward and scoring player. He doesn't have a good long-range shot, but he's very capable when he's going for the basket. Great guards such as Mitsui are needed to stop him. He wants to play basketball very badly and wants to be as strong as Sendoh. He wasn't a very good player in junior high (according to Jin who knows him from back then), but developed himself to a great forward. Thanks to his scoring powers Sendoh had the opportunity to try himself on the point guard position.


#15 Aida Hikoicihi
1st year
Guard
165cm

He's the enthousiastic freshman who always carries a notebook with him to write down important things. He is not tall nor talented, but he loves the game very much. He knows he'll never be as good as his teammates, but his love for the game hasn't decreased. He has a lot of respect for Sendoh, who is called the Genius. He also faxed the information on Team Toyotama to Shohoku to help them beat the arrogant Kishimoto from Toyotama. His sister Yayoi is a reporter of a basketball magazine and also admires Sendoh.


Taoka Moichi
Head coach