Coat Check | 11.29.19
Each week, “Coat Check” will highlight the Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Thanksgiving plates have cleared (except for leftovers) and the Delaware Blue Coats are set to resume game action. Following a few days of practice before the holiday, the team returns to the court Friday night at home against the Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks). The game marks the eighth and final outing this month for the Blue Coats before the calendar flips to December. It will be the team’s sixth home game.
Delaware (3-4) currently leads the G League in points per game (124.7), while ranking fourth in both rebounds per game (51.7) and blocks per game (6.7).
In last Thursday’s 120-112 road win over the College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks), the Blue Coats played spoiler in what was the first-ever home game for the G League’s newest franchise. 76ers two-way contract player Norvel Pelle and sharpshooter Jared Brownridge both impressed for the visitors. Pelle scored 23 points (10-12 fg, 2-3 ft) and grabbed nine rebounds in 25 minutes of action, while Brownridge knocked down six 3-point field goals, all in the first half, finishing with 22 points (8-15 fg, 6-11 3fg), four rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes off the bench for Delaware.
Xavier Munford neared a triple-double for the Blue Coats with 20 points (7-15 fg, 4-10 3fg, 2-4 ft), 11 rebounds, and seven assists in 33 minutes, as the squad held on for the victory after leading by as many as 30 points in the game. Jonah Bolden, on assignment from the 76ers, notched his second double-double of the season with 18 points (6-11 fg, 2-6 3fg, 2-2 ft), 11 boards, and five assists in 31 minutes.
Shizz Alston Jr., a Blue Coats’ rookie out of Temple, returned from a hamstring injury to make his season debut at College Park on Thursday. He made his first appearance at 76ers Fieldhouse two days later against the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks). In Delaware’s five-point loss to former assistant coach Chase Buford’s Wisconsin club, Alston Jr. tallied nine points (3-7 fg, 1-2 3fg, 2-2 ft), three rebounds, and three assists in 16 minutes as a reserve. The 23-year-old joins former Saint Joseph’s University Hawk Isaiah Miles as local collegiate products competing with the 76ers’ G League affiliate.
While Alston came up one point shy of reaching double figures himself, Miles was one of six Blue Coats players to score at least 10 points against the Herd on Saturday. He scored 12 of his 14 total points (4-9 fg, 2-5 3fg, 2-2 ft) in the first quarter.
76ers assignment player Zhaire Smith posted a season-high 18 points (7-18 fg, 1-5 3fg, 2-2 ft) with seven rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes for the Blue Coats.
@zhaire_smith: 18 PTS | 7 REB
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) November 24, 2019
Saturday night marked the third time in the past four contests that six Delaware players have scored in double figures. Jared Brownridge led the way with 23 points (8-16 fg, 5-10 3fg, 2-2 ft) in 25 minutes off the bench. Brownridge currently ranks inside the Top-10 in the G League in 3-point field goals made with 25 triples, and his 48.1 percent mark from downtown is second best among that group.
The Blue Coats outrebounded Wisconsin, which entered the game leading the G League with 56.8 rebounds per game, 55-48, in the loss. Delaware also blocked 10 shots for the second time this season.
Pelle’s 23-point performance against the Skyhawks last week was nearly a new career-best in the G League. His 2018-19 season-high scoring total was 24 points at Long Island last February. Against Wisconsin on Saturday, he recorded his second double-double of the season for the Blue Coats with 10 points (5-9 fg) and 12 rebounds, to go along with a pair of blocked shots, in 27 minutes of work. Pelle tallied 13 double-doubles in 36 games played a season ago.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) November 24, 2019
Shayok was sidelined last week with a right quad contusion. The rookie remains second in the G League in scoring average with 29.5 points per game, trailing only Erie’s Josh Gray (31.0 ppg).
AT THE BUZZER
Zhaire Smith showing off.
Friday night’s Blue Coats home game is Dinosaur Adventure Night presented by WXCY 103.7 FM and is scheduled to include life-sized dinosaurs courtesy of Jungle John, as well as a Jurassic Park Jeep display and more. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET at 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware. After Friday, the team’s next home game against the Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors) on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. ET is Sports Business Night presented by TeamWork Online. Find out more HERE.
In between these two home contests, the Blue Coats will travel to the Sunshine State to face the Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic) on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Philadelphia native and former La Salle Explorer B.J. Johnson averages a team-high 21.0 points per game for Lakeland.
For information on Blue Coats tickets, visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.