Coat Check | 3.6.20

by Matt Murphy

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

CHECKING IN

The next win for the Delaware Blue Coats (21-19) will officially mark an improvement from last season.

But this year’s team seeks more than that. Entering a road-home back-to-back this weekend, the Blue Coats have 10 games remaining on their 50-game G League regular season schedule. They’re currently the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, where six teams will make the playoffs.

As we noted last week, the Delaware franchise record for wins in a season is 26, set during the 2016-17 campaign. Setting a new record by a couple of games would go a long way towards securing the first playoff berth in Blue Coats history.

Last Saturday at home against the Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls), Christ Koumadje notched what was then the 15th double-double of his rookie season with 13 points (6-12 fg, 1-2 ft) and a season-high 24 rebounds in 30 minutes to help the Blue Coats even the season series. Koumadje’s 24 rebounds matched the total for the most rebounds by a player in a single game in the G League this season (Eric Mika, Stockton Kings).

Zhaire Smith, who is averaging 13.5 points per game for the Blue Coats in his last six games while on assignment from the 76ers, had a number of highlight-reel dunks in last Saturday’s victory. Smith posted 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting against Windy City. He’s picked up a steal in five of the last six contests.

On Monday night in Washington D.C., the Coats matched last season’s win total (21) with a 105-102 victory over the Capital City Go-Go (Washington Wizards). With the game tied at 102, 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok converted a straightaway 3-point field goal with 0.3 seconds remaining for what proved to be the game-winner.

On Long Island on Wednesday, Koumadje (averaging a league-leading 4.0 blocks per game) recorded six more blocked shots. The rookie’s season total now stands at 133 rejections. He is 35 blocks away from tying the G League single-season record (Kurt Looby).

Delaware fell to the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), despite the fourth 30+ point game of the season for Xavier Munford, who finished with 36 points (13-22 fg, 6-9 3fg, 2-3 ft), six rebounds, four assists and two steals In 36 minutes of action. 

The Blue Coats, averaging a league-best 7.5 blocks per game, racked up a season-most 14 rejections as a team against the Nets. They’ve blocked 10 shots or more on 11 times. 

TWO-WAY TRACKER

Marial Shayok

Obligatory G League scoring leaderboard update: Shayok remains third (through Thursday night’s games) with 23.1 points per game.

Shayok has played nine more games (32) than each of the two players ranked ahead of him in the scoring race.

The Ottawa native secured his fourth double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes against Long Island on Wednesday.

BLUE QUOTE

76ers second-year player Shake Milton, on how his time with the Blue Coats prepared him for the NBA:

“At first, you weren’t getting that many opportunities with the Sixers and you don’t really have the ball in your hands. So being able to go down [to Delaware] and really work on [my] game was big-time for me. That way, I was able to come up here and—when my opportunity was called—make the most of it.”

CHECK THIS

So clutch you should watch it again.

UP NEXT

This Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on Twitch, the Blue Coats visit the Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors) in Mississauga, Ontario. The team returns to 76ers Fieldhouse on Sunday for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic) on NBA TV, DETV and 1450 WILM.

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

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