Coat Check | 2.21.20
Each week, “Coat Check” will highlight the Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Welcome back to Coat Check!
Coming off the NBA All-Star Break, the Delaware Blue Coats (19-15) enter the stretch run of the NBA G League season right in the thick of the playoff hunt. A postseason berth would be the first in franchise history.
Six teams from each conference make the G League playoffs, so each of the 16 regular season games left on the Blue Coats' schedule is obviously important. All the while, development remains the primary goal.
The Blue Coats recently completed a six-day road trip that took the team down to College Park, Georgia; out to Fort Wayne, Indiana; and then up to Sioux Falls, South Dakota (G League fun fact: The affiliate of the Miami Heat is based in Sioux Falls—the Skyforce.)
Including connections, the recent trip included seven commercial flights over six days.
And two wins over three games—a success.
Tipping things off in Georgia, sharpshooter Jared Brownridge registered a career game. Brownridge, who has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Blue Coats, came off the bench to score a career-high 39 points (13-23 fg, 6-12 3fg, 5-7 ft) with six rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes of action.
The Coats led the Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks), a team whose ownership group includes rapper 2 Chainz, by as many as 29 points in the game and held on for a 121-114 victory. They outrebounded the home team 58-51 to improve to 9-0 this season when collecting 55 rebounds or more.
It was time for a road matinee against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers) two days later. With his second blocked shot of the game, Blue Coats big man Christ Koumadje set the new franchise record for blocks in a single season. Koumadje surpassed Norvel Pelle (105 in 2018-19) and finished the game with six rejections, bringing his season total—at the time—to a league-best 110 blocked shots. This game was the team’s lone loss on the trip.
The Mad Ants’ shuttle bus takes visiting teams to and from the airport, shootaround and the game. This is common practice in the G League.
A flight from Indiana to South Dakota by way of Chicago landed the Blue Coats in Sioux Falls looking to steal a win and head home.
They trailed the Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami HEAT) by 19 points at halftime. How about a 34-13 third quarter in favor of the Coats?
Brownridge tallied 14 of his 23 points for the Blue Coats in the third quarter, while Justin Robinson closed with 14 points of his own in the fourth quarter of what proved to be a 10-point win. Former Sixer and current Blue Coats assistant coach Xavier Silas brought the juice on the sideline and earned the Blue Coats hard hat in the locker room after the comeback.
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) February 12, 2020
Playing without the services of 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok for the fourth-straight game on Feb. 13, the Blue Coats fell to the Stockton Kings (Sacramento Kings) at home before the recent break in the schedule.
Last appearance in the Two-Way Tracker section for Norvel Pelle, but for good reason. The 76ers announced earlier this month that the team had signed Pelle to a standard NBA contract.
Pelle’s journey is a great story of hard work, persistence and growth. Don’t forget that he first arrived in Delaware as a 20-year-old in 2013. He returned last season and earned a two-way contract with Philadelphia over the summer, following an All-Defensive Team season with the Blue Coats. And, now, he’s on a standard NBA deal.
Obligatory G League scoring leaderboard update: Shayok currently ranks fourth (through Thursday night’s games) with 23.3 points per game.
Since our last check-in, Shayok spent a chunk of time with the 76ers. He scored his first NBA points on a 3-point field goal on Feb. 6 in Milwaukee. He was also named to the Eastern Conference Midseason All-NBA G League Team earlier this month.
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) February 10, 2020
The rookie returned to the Delaware lineup last Thursday and tallied a game-high 25 points with four rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes of action.
Marial Shayok, on this stage of his young basketball journey:
“I think, this year, I’m just really trying to approach it as a learning experience. Take it a day at a time and continue to grow every day, and just try to win the day.”
(The phrase “Win The Day” appears in Shayok’s Twitter bio).
BLUE COATS BEAT
The Blue Coats Beat gives you an inside look at the Blue Coats, both on the court and in the community.
In the most recent episode, 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok talks about his rookie season, growing up in a basketball family in Canada, how he chooses his sneakers and more. Also, learn about a day in the life of Marial!
The Blue Coats return to action on Friday night against the Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers) at 76ers Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the team will celebrate Beau Biden Foundation Night to support the protection of children. The Blue Coats will wear specially-themed Beau Biden Foundation uniforms. Game-worn, autographed player jerseys will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation.
Following two road games in Oshkosh, Wisconsin next week against the Eastern Conference-leading Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks), the Blue Coats will return home to take on the Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls) on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.
For information on Blue Coats tickets, visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.