WILMINGTON- The 2022-2023 Delaware Blue Coats were awarded with their G-League Championship rings prior to their season opener against the Westchester Knicks on Friday night.
Charlie Brown, now a Westchester Knick, Pat McCaw, Aminu Mohammed, Derek Culver, & Jared Brownridge were all rewarded with their ring’s pre-game and a nice championship banner now sits along the wall behind their bench in the Chase Fieldhouse.
Only 4 players have returned to Blue Coats from that championship team, mainly due to the objective of the G-League. Develop players to advance their careers to the NBA, something the Blue Coats have been very successful at doing in recent years. Players like the aforementioned Charlie Brown, “B-ball” Paul Reed, Justin Champagnie, and Jaden Springer have all made the jump from the Blue Coats to the NBA in the past few seasons.
This year’s team has a few players that have the potential to jump into the NBA in the coming years with first year players Ricky Council IV (Arkansas) and Terquavion Smith (NC State).
Both players would make their mark in what was a competitive opener through one half of play. Council was in the starting lineup for the opener, alongside Chris Clarke, Jared Brownridge, Melvin Frazier Jr., and Javonte Smart. Smith was utilized off the bench for the opener.
As mentioned, this game was competitive through two quarters of play, as the Knicks led the Blue Coats 66-59 at the break. Council had 8 points at the break, while Smith led Delaware with 19 first half points off the bench. Council’s athleticism and defensive potential popped, while Smith’s speed and shooting ability was eye-popping.
Duane Washington (Ohio State) paced the Knicks with 21 first half points, while Charlie Brown added a dozen.
This game got out of hand in the third quarter, when both Brown and Brandon Goodwin (Florida Gulf Coast) went OFF during the Knicks 39-point outburst. Goodwin would explode for 18 points in the quarter & despite being listed at 6 feet tall, had two huge transition blocks. The Knicks would extend their 7-point halftime lead to a 24-point difference heading into the fourth, 105-81.
The fourth quarter would consist of wild shots from Delaware as they tried to play catch up as the hot third quarter proved to be too much for the Blue Coats.
The Knicks were led by Duane Robinson’s 26 points, followed by 25 by Goodwin, 19 from Dylan Windler (Belmont), and 18 from Charlie Brown.
As for the Blue Coats, there were positives and negatives from their performance.
The negative: Defense. This is going to be the challenge for this team this season. They seemed to not be on the same page as a team on the defensive side of the ball and did not defend the 3-point shot very well as the Knicks shot 40% from deep on the night (17-41).
The positive: Terquavion Smith & Ricky Council. While neither player shot efficiently (Smith 11-33, Council 7-20), mostly due to the catch-up mentality in the second half, these two clearly stood out as NBA potential players. Smith ended with a game high 37 points, while Council added 19 points and 9 rebounds. Both players played with a ton of confidence, like they know they are destined for the next level.
Delaware now hits the road for the next three games with two against the Capital City Go-Go on Nov. 13 & Nov. 15, and Nov. 18 visit to the Knicks before returning home on Thanksgiving Eve to take on the College Park Skyhawks at 7pm.
While it wasn’t a championship effort on opening up, this team has some exciting young players to watch again this season. We can’t wait to bring you more from the Blue Coats this season, stay tuned!
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