On February 19, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the Delaware Blue Coats defeated the Long Island Nets, 130-127, to improve their unbeaten record to 6-0. The affiliate team of the Philadelphia 76ers remains the G League’s only unbeaten side.
In a well-rounded effort, three Blue Coats players scored 20+ points, in Jared Brownridge (29), Paul Reed (23), and Jordan Bone (21). In addition, Justin Robinson and Ivan Rabb recorded 3 blocks, alongside Reed.
Parent team, the Philadelphia 76ers, possess 8 players on their active roster with G League experience. With Shake Milton, Mike Scott, and Furkan Korkmaz having previously featured for the Blue Coats organization.
The Blue Coats’ Journey to 6-0:
In a back-and-forth contest, Delaware picked up an opening day victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 120-117. Seemingly looking in control throughout, the Blue Coats were subject to numerous Fort Wayne runs. The Mad Ants climbed back within a single point late on, but then came some clutch free-throws from Rayjon Tucker and Justin Robinson. Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 28 points, draining 4 from beyond the arc.
The very next day saw the task of taking on the Jeremy Lin-led Santa Cruz Warriors. In a dominant performance, the Blue Coats forced the Warriors into 26 turnovers and outscored them 58-30 in the paint. Two-way contract player Paul Reed recorded his second-straight double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, in a 103-92 win. In the first half, the Blue Coats held Santa Cruz to just 31 points (9-32).
After a day’s rest, up next was the Aqua Caliente Clippers. Despite being down by as much as 13 points, Delaware used a 10-0 run midway through the final frame to take the lead and grasp victory, 108-101. In doing so, the team recorded the first-ever 3-0 start in franchise history. Reed lead the team once again with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds. Five players scored in double figures and delivered 5+ assists.
The next team to fall at the hands of Delaware was the Greensboro Swarm, in commanding fashion. All cylinders were ticking, as the Blue Coats converted a 72-58 halftime lead into a wide 127-98 win. The points total, along with the 49 field goals, 17 three-pointers, and 34 assists all represented new season-high totals. While the 10 turnovers in the contest were a season-low. Brownridge totaled a game-high 24 points, with Robinson and Jordan Bone each posting 17 points.
The winless Iowa Wolves (0-5) would then challenge the high-flying Blue Coats. The first half was relatively close, then a 24-11 run in the third quarter put Delaware on course to record their 5th-straight victory, 133-111. Reed had yet another double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds, with Bone adding 23 points off the bench.
That brings us up to the most recent win over the Long Island Nets, where the Blue Coats hit a season-high 21 three-pointers. Scoring 76 points in the first half, Delaware held a 19-point lead at the break. Despite the Nets outscoring the Blue Coats 37-24 in the fourth on the back of a late run, Delaware held on for a 130-127 victory. Brownridge, again, led the team with a game-high 29 points (7 3P). Reed recorded his sixth consecutive double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
“Unselfish Play”, the Recipe for Success:
“We’ve all got the same goals. So when we go out there on the court, we all know exactly what we need to do,” Blue Coats star Paul Reed told reporters after the victory over the Swarm. “We’re all a group of unselfish guys. Everybody’s making that extra pass, everybody’s making that extra effort for their teammates.”
“It’s a lot to do with the coaching, it’s a good group, good energy, nobody’s selfish. That’s got a lot to do with our good start.”
Across the board, players have been making valuable contributions to the Delaware Blue Coats’ early-season success. With honorable mentions being given to Julian Washburn, Michael Frazier, Ivan Rabb, and Jemerrio Jones as well.
The Blue Coats, prior to the season, held one of the more eye-catching rosters in the bubble. Their quick start has affirmed the certainly that they are the must-watch team moving forward, as they have their eyes firmly set on the prize in Disney World.
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