Coat Check | 1.16.20

by Matt Murphy

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


The midway point of the NBA G League regular season is nearly upon us.  

Twenty-two games into the 50-game slate, the Delaware Blue Coats hold a 13-9 record, good for the fourth-best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference. 

Last Friday at 76ers Fieldhouse, the home team fell to the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons), 100-91, despite a standout performance from Zhaire Smith, who was on assignment from the 76ers. Smith scored a game-high 19 points (6-9 fg, 4-6 3fg, 1-1 ft) with three rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes for the Blue Coats. Smith’s 19 points matched his career-high total in the G League, while his four 3-point field goals made marked a new career high.  

In addition to his long-range shooting success in the game, Smith also showcased his renowned athleticism on the defensive end. 

Grand Rapids’ Adam Woodbury is listed at 7-foot 1:  

On Tuesday night down in Lakeland, Florida, the Blue Coats defeated the Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), 108-95, to improve to an impressive 8-1 in true road games this season. Christ Koumadje registered his ninth double-double of the season for Delaware, posting 18 points (7-11 fg, 2-2 ft) and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Koumadje was the team’s leading rebounder for the tenth-straight game.  


With six blocked shots over his last two games, Koumadje has now blocked 62 total shots in just 17 games played. Eighteen of Koumadje’s rejections have occurred in the four games since the calendar flipped to 2020. His 3.6 blocks per game rank first in the G League, as the Blue Coats lead the league in blocks per game as a team (7.8) by more than one full rejection.  


Marial Shayok 

Obligatory G League scoring leaderboard update: Shayok (as of Thursday afternoon) ranks in a tie for fourth place with 23.6 points per game.  

Shayok has not missed a free throw since going 1-for-2 at the charity stripe nearly a month ago on Dec. 19 against the Stockton Kings (Sacramento Kings) in Las Vegas. He is 12-12 at the line in the past seven games, and 41-45 (.911) on the season for that matter. Keep in mind that G League players only shoot one free throw per trip to the foul line, excluding the final two minutes of regulation and overtime.  

Norvel Pelle 

In four games with the 76ers this past week, Pelle averaged 4.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 12.8 minutes per game. He scored six points (3-3 fg) in Philadelphia’s win over the Boston Celtics last Thursday, and he corralled seven rebounds in a victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.  

Pelle currently has 17 blocked shots in 12 games with the Sixers. By recording 14 blocks in his first 10 career NBA games, he became only the fourth player ever to do so in less than 110 minutes (104).  


Assistant Coach Isaiah Fox, on the coaching staff’s chemistry:  

“It came together authentically this year. We all got together early. We were a part of what the Sixers were doing—we were helping them out with their training camp. We got to pick the brains of all their coaches and be around all of the Brett Brown meetings. And I think all of us are really passionate about learning, developing ourselves and becoming really good coaches.”  


The Blue Coats Beat gives you an inside look at the Blue Coats, both on the court and in the community.   

In episode three, Assistant Coach Isaiah Fox discusses working with the team’s big men, as well as his love for a very specific type of footwear and his background as a player for Naismith Hall of Fame Head Coach Lute Olson at the University of Arizona. The conversation also includes an update on the Blue Coats’ 'Books & Basketball' children's literacy program.  


The Blue Coats remain on the road to take on the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons) at 7 p.m. ET on Friday in Michigan. Delaware can capture the season series with a win in what will be the second and final game between the two clubs this season.  

The team will return home ahead of Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration game set to include an MLK sermon recital featuring Dr. John Moore. Tip-off with the South Bay Lakers is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at 76ers Fieldhouse. The Lakers are the first Western Conference opponent that the Blue Coats will face outside of the NBA G League Showcase this season.  

For information on Blue Coats tickets, visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.  

Follow the Blue Coats on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

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