The Philadelphia 76ers G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, are starting this season off on a strong note. The team won a shootout of a game over the Greensboro Swarm Monday night. There has been one surprise so far this season though, and that is Marial Shayok.
So… Who is Marial Shayok?
Back in June, the Sixers drafted Marial Shayok with the 54th overall pick. The rookie guard has a different college journey. The 6’6 198 pound player spent the first three years of his college career with Virginia. In that time, he served as a poor role player, showcasing a mere 5.7 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist 17 minutes per game. For his senior year, Iowa State was looking for help, so he transferred there. But because of the NCAA transfer rules, he sat out of the 2017-2018 season. His senior year started during the Cyclones 2018-2019 campaign.
During his one season with the Cyclones, Shayok plated 33 minutes per game, where he averaged 17.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2 assists. All career bests for the then senior. These numbers awarded him with All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12-’s All-Newcomer Team.
This article here does a great job examining the rookie’s skill set and how he will be one of the key players this season for the Blue Coats. The video below showcases the talent described in that article. His athleticism and shooting ability is dynamic.
In two games with the Delaware Blue Coats, Shayok has put up 34 PTS/ 6 REB/ 3 AST and 42 PTS/ 9 REB/ 3 AST. The rookie standout has been playing at forward for the Blue Coats, with Zhaire Smith and Xavier Munford playing guard for the team.
Shayok will likely not crack the NBA roster this season. Despite the two-way contract, his defense is too much of a liability than the Sixers can afford to have. Instead of having him sit on the bench and not log minutes, it would be better the have him stay in the G-league and rack up minutes, points, and confidence.
Haywood Highsmith, a late-season call up last season for the Sixers, was by far the most well-rounded player in the Blue Coats’ win. The power forward had an excellent game with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Expect him to make a case to be called up again if the Sixers end up wanting to try young talent in the event that Mike Scott or James Ennis miss any time.
Former first-round pick Zhaire Smith is using the best of his time with the G-league affiliate. After missing most of the season last year with a number of issues, he has been playing his role and serving as the starting shooting guard for the Blue Coats so far. Expect Smith to work his way to gaining a few minutes toward the end of the season to gain some experience.
The Blue Coats travel up to Long Island to face the Long Island Nets on Friday night.
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University