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Jun 22, 2018 - 01:32 AM

Slam Dunk: Team Shohoku

Shohoku has never been really successful; it's never been into the IH games. Because of coach Anzai junior high MVP Mitsui Hisashi joined the team, also in that year Akagi Takenori and Kogure Kiminobu joined the team. But after Mitsui got seriously injured and didn't recover for the district games in time, he left the team. Akagi grew as a player and was seen as a great center without capable teammates. Later Miyagi also joined the team and became a wonderful point guard, but with a PG and a center you won't get far... Then the super talented Rukawa Kaede and the athletic Sakuragi Hanamichi joined. Even Mitsui returns to the team after two years of absence to complete the marvelous Shohoku team. By the way, we see some similarities between Shohoku and the Chicago Bulls as we look at the jerseys (the colors, the font type) and the two rookies: Rukawa is often compared to Michael Jordan and Sakuragi reminds us of the Rebound King Dennis Rodman.

Basically Shohoku likes to play Run & Gun. It has a very speedy point guard and two very fast forwards to make it work. But Shohoku has more possiblilties to play offense: Akagi is a top center, there aren't many players around who can stop him. And of course they have Rukawa, the ace player of the team, who can score from any position. He's able to get inside for easy lay ups, fancy dunks but is also able to score from greater distance with his jump shots and three-point shots. When the bucket is guarded very well, there's Mitsui with his great ability to hit three-pointers. So Shohoku has an arsenal of offensive abilities, both inside and from distance.

Their defense is man-to-man. In some games they also played half court defense for a while. For players as Kainan's Maki they had used a very different strategy: four players to defend him! Sakuragi would defend the long range shooter Jin (Box One defense). Kainan's coach Takato brought in his second long range shooter Miyamasu and Anzai applied the Triangle Two defense, with Miyagi defending the second shooter.

This team is very allround: it has a nice defense and a very strong offense with capable scorers such as Rukawa, Akagi and Mitsui. Akagi scores under the board, Mitsui from the three-point line and Rukawa from anywhere possible. Their rebounding ability is also very high with the rebounding king Sakuragi and Akagi.

We can see that coach Anzai is a marvelous strategist, especially in the games against Kainan and Sannoh.

Weak points:
The biggest weak point of the team is the bench: Shohoku doesn't have very good players on the bench. Only Kogure and Yasuda played well in important matches, however, they aren't marvelous players. There's a big difference between the starting five and the guys on the bench.

In their game against Ryonan it's also seen that the Shohoku players get a lot of fouls, which is a trouble because of their weak bench.

Shohoku doesn't have trainings as tough as Kainan's and Ryonan's. You can see that those players are often fitter than the Shohoku players. Rukawa can't outplay a whole match if he plays his explosive scoring style for 40 minutes and Mitsui is due to his two years of absence quickly exhausted.

#4 Akagi Takenori aka Gori
birthday: October 5th
3rd year
197 cm, 90 kg

click here to read Akagi's profile

#5 Kogure Kiminobu aka Megane-kun
birthday: July 12th
3rd year
Small forward
178 cm, 62 kg

click here to read Kogure's profile

#6 Yasuda Yasuharu
birthday: March 23rd
2nd year
Point Guard
164 cm

Yasuda is from the same junior high as Miyagi, his best moments were probably in the game vs Toyotama. Miyagi was frustrated and lost his calmness, so Anzai-sensei let Yasuda play side by side with Miyagi as point guard. His major task was to slow down the rhythm of Toyotama's play. He did a good job.

#7 Miyagi Ryota aka Lightning, Shorty
birthday: July 31st
2nd year
Point guard
168 cm, 59 kg

click here to read Miyagi's profile

#8 Shiozaki Tetsushi
birthday: September 23rd
2nd year
Power Forward
170 cm

#9 Kakuta Satoru
birthday: November 4
2nd year
180 cm

He played for about 2 minutes in the game vs Sannoh, while Sakuragi was treated from his nosebleed. He experienced how tough the job was Sakuragi had been assigned to. He's not a great player, but tries really hard.

# 10 Sakuragi Hanamichi aka Tensai, Red Haired Monkey, Doaho
birthday: April 1st
1st year
Power forward
188 cm, 83 kg

click here to read Sakuragi's profile

#11 Rukawa Kaede aka Super Rookie, Kitsune, Wild Fox
birthday: January 1st
1st year
Small forward
187 cm, 75 kg

click here to read Rukawa's profile

#12 Iishi Kentaro
birthday: January 18th
1st year
170 cm

#13 Sasaoka Satoro
birthday: October 13th
1st year
171 cm

#14 Mitsui Hisashi aka Mitchi, Man of Fire
birthday: May 22nd
3rd year
Shooting guard
184 cm, 70 kg

click here to read Mitsui's profile

#15 Kawata Toki
birthday: July 28th
1st year
162 cm

Anzai Mitsuyoshi

click here to read Anzai's profile

Akagi Haruko
1st year

click here to read Haruko's profile

2nd year

click here to read Ayako's profile

Sakuragi Gundan
1st year

Sakuragi's loyal friends from top to bottom: Yuji Ookuzu, Sauichiro Omachu, Yohei Mito and Anozumi Hakami. Mitoi is probably the smartest guy of the Gang, he's very chilling and also played a role in the fights with Mitsui's gang. The team would be suspended from the games if the school staff found out about the fights, so Mitoi and his mates took the responsibility of the fights to secure the basketball team.