Delaware Blue Coats Melvin Frazier dunks the basketball against the Maine Celtics photo courtesy of Ben Fulton

Blue Coats drop one to Maine Celtics amid roster changes

Patrick GaryantesHeadlines, Sports

Delaware Blue Coats Melvin Frazier dunks the basketball against the Maine Celtics photo courtesy of Ben Fulton scaled

WILMINGTON- One of the challenges in the G-League is that amid success will come roster poaching and the Blue Coats have certainly come across that challenge this season.  The Coats entered Monday’s contest with the Maine Celtics at 17-8 and with a much different lineup than we’ve come to get used to in Wilmington this season.


Just within the past week, Jeff Dowtin, a player who didn’t log many minutes in the beginning of the season, signed a two-way deal with the 76ers and was signed with the big team.  With that move being made, a two-way contract had to be vacated, and the unfortunate drawer of that card was Kenneth Lofton.  Lofton averaged 26.4 points per game to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists.  He did not remain available for very long as he signed with the Utah Jazz the same day and he was joined by a familiar face shortly after.  Darius Bazley also signed with the Jazz the same day.  Bazley was great as well for the Coats, averaging 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in 22 games for Delaware.    


Combine those recent losses with spurts of both Ricky Council and Terquavion Smith joining the 76ers due to injuries, David Duke signing a two-way deal with the Spurs early in the season, and Javonte Smith heading overseas to play, the fact the Coats entered Monday with a 17-8 record speaks to the incredible coaching job Mike Longabardi and his staff has done this season.


On Monday, two new reinforcements joined the Coats in Rob Edwards (Arizona State) and Quinton Rose (Temple).  


The Coats had an off-night shooting on Monday, shooting only 38% from the field (35-92) & 39% from deep (18-46).  Three scorers finished with over 20 points for Delaware led by Terq Smith’s 28 while Melvin Frazier Jr. added 21 & Rob Edwards contributed 20.  Ricky Council’s return to Wilmington from his successful stint with the 76ers was a forgetful one. 

The forward from Arkansas only scored 12 points on 4-16 shooting with a game worst plus/minus of (-26) and was in foul trouble throughout the game.


Despite trailing the majority of the game, the Blue Coats made a push late in the third and would take an 82-80 lead with 2:36 left in the quarter.   However, the former Duke product, DJ Steward, led one final charge for the Celtics as they outscored Delaware 42-19 over the final 14 minutes of gameplay to secure a 122-101 victory.


Steward led Maine with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, while former Iowa standout Joe Wieskamp added 20 points and 8 boards himself.


Delaware returns home Wednesday night with game two against Maine set to tip-off at 7pm.

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