Coat Check | 03.07.19

by Matt Murphy

Each week, “Coat Check” will highlight the Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.


The final month of the NBA G League regular season is upon us.

Since last checking in on the Delaware Blue Coats (17-23), the team played three games, two of which came on the road last week.

The Blue Coats also officially welcomed 76ers assignment player and 2018 NBA first-round draft pick Zhaire Smith to the fold.

Following a 115-106 road loss to the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) last Wednesday, Smith made his regular season debut Friday night in Portland against the Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics).

Smith scored one basket, while adding three rebounds and two assists on a 15-minute restriction in the 124-102 loss to the Red Claws. Smith’s former Texas Tech teammate, Keenan Evans, assisted on Smith’s layup.

With four more 3-pointers against Maine, Delaware’s Jared Brownridge surpassed Miami HEAT two-way contract player Duncan Robinson for the G League-lead in triples. Brownridge currently has 144 threes on the season.

Between the roads stops at Long Island and Maine, the Coats visited the NBA League Office in New York City.

NYC-based mentalist Jason Suran performed for the team, as well.

Suran, who specializes in psychological illusions and the stimulation of mind reading, has performed for the 76ers on multiple occasions.

Then this past Monday night at 76ers Fieldhouse against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), the Blue Coats swept the three-game season series between the teams with a 112-99 victory. Norvel Pelle (18 points / 12 rebounds), Ryan Anderson (13 points / 17 rebounds), and 76ers two-way contract player Haywood Highsmith (11 points / 11 rebounds) each recorded a double-double.

Smith had a strong showing as well. In his second career G League game, he posted 12 points (5-9 fg / 2-2 ft), two rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes for the Blue Coats.

On Thursday, the team announced it acquired A.J. Davis off waivers. The 6-9, 215-pounder had been playing overseas, for Brisbane of the Australian National Basketball League. 

Davis is the son of former NBA All-Star Antonio Davis. To make room for Davis on the roster, the Blue Coats waived Terrence Drisdom.  


Haywood Highsmith

Highsmith’s 11-point, 11-rebound performance Monday in Delaware marked the third G League double-double of his rookie campaign. Amongst Blue Coats players with at least 10 games played, Highsmith’s 32.1 minutes per contest are second most behind only Shake Milton (34.7 MPG).

Highsmith dressed for the Sixers in Tuesday’s home win over the Orlando Magic, and again Wednesday in Chicago against the Bulls. He did not see action in either game.

Shake Milton

Milton remains sidelined with a right hand injury. He has not played since suffering the injury one month ago.


Head coach Connor Johnson, on 76ers assignee Zhaire Smith:

“Just to see that amount of growth within a game. It’s not even within years or within months. It’s just from the first game to where we are now, from the first time he went in [Monday] to the second time he went in, we’ve seen a lot of growth. And that’s something to be excited about.”


Throwback Thursday, March Madness-style: Evans feeds Smith for a 360 alley-oop dunk during Texas Tech’s 2018 NCAA Tournament first round win over Stephen F. Austin.

Justin Patton discusses his time on assignment with the Blue Coats.

Patton was recalled by the 76ers on Feb. 27. He recorded one point, four rebounds, and three assists in nine minutes during his NBA season debut Monday against Orlando.


The Blue Coats return to action Friday on the road at the Capital City Go-Go (Washington Wizards). The team concludes a back-to-back on Saturday night at home against the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons). Both games tip off at 7:00 PM.

Saturday night’s game at 76ers Fieldhouse is Service Appreciation Night. It will feature a special military swear-in ceremony and recognition of Delaware police, fire and rescue, as well as postgame autographs for all fans.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.

Select photos courtesy of Wayne Terry


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