Reflecting back on this past week down at the 76ers Fieldhouse, the Blue Coats struggled after opening up the season strong. The high scoring caliber offense faltered a bit the past four games. The team fell to a record of 3-4 after the sluggish week.
The Blue Coats welcomed back rookie Shizz Alston, as he made his Wilmington, Delaware debut on Saturday night. The team is still missing star scorer Marial Shayok to a right quad contusion, who looks to return for next Friday’s game against the Westchester Knicks.
This Week in Review
The Delaware Blue Coats went 1-3 this past week.
- Lost to Canton Charge, 123-111
- Lost to Capital City Go-Go 125-105
- Beat College Park Skyhawks 120-112
- Lost Wisconsin Herd 124-119
Wisconsin Herd Takeaways
While everyone was watching the Sixers dominate the Heat, the Delaware Blue Coats dropped Saturday night’s game 124-119. This allowed the Herd to win their seventh-straight game. The second quarter marked a 24-2 run by the Herd, allowing them to lead by as many as 18. Despite the Blue Coats’ incredible second-half comeback, one where Haywood Highsmith had an open look for three to tie it with time expiring, they fell short.
Shizz Alston Jr.
A Temple University product, Alston made his G-league home debut Saturday night against the Wisconsin Herd. His hamstring did not look bothered in anyways, however, as Alston was solid all game. He played 16 minutes off the bench, where he logged nine points, three rebounds, three assists.
2018 lottery pick Zhaire Smith started off this game sizzling. Smith scored seven of the Blue Coats’ first nine points. His off-ball defending was stellar, keeping pace with the quick Frank Mason III. In total, he logged 32 minutes, racking up 18 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Despite the solid numbers, Smith seemed to get lackadaisical as the game went on. Not sure if it was a change of game plan after the Herd took an 18 point lead in the second quarter, but Smith started playing isolated. Watching the game, it seemed like the guard was forcing drives, not passing to teammates at the perimeter, etc.
Smith has been an overall solid, well-rounded player on both ends of the court for Delaware through all seven games this season. His development will be crucial for the Sixers’ success, even though his name has been used in a lot of potential trade packages. Keep an eye on Smith moving forward to see if he has any chance at cracking an NBA roster.
Last night, the 6-3 guard was feeling confident. He went 5-10 from beyond the arc and led the Blue Coats with 23 points.
Having Shizz Alston back in the lineup, Brownridge felt that it allowed him to “unlock” some of his natural abilities. This was evident in his performance, as he shot 8-16 (50%) overall in his 25 minutes of work off the bench.
Coach Connor Johnson
Coach Johnson, the former Director of Player Development and Coaching Administration for the 76ers, is in his second season as the Blue Coats’ head coach.
In his second year, coach Johnson currently showcases a 3-4 record. Before the game, he mentioned how the Herd play like the Bucks, playing a five- low box defense. Despite this spot-on scouting report, it was interesting to see him not make many in-game adjustments.
At half time, the Herd was shooting 11-21 (52%!) from three, while the Blue Coats were a mere 4-15 (27%) from deep. The Blue Coats came out hot in the second half, chipping away at the lead, however, Wisconsin continued to drop any shot beyond the arc. The Blue Coats were defending the paint well, but in doing so it allowed the Herd to keep shooting from deep. This only allowed Wisconsin to maintain a lead the rest of the game.
Coach Johnson also chirps the referees all. night. long.
The refs were bad last night. It felt as if it were a high school field hockey game with all of the whistles. Coach made them aware of this, which led to a technical foul called on him during the second quarter. This tamed him down a bit but caused the momentum to stay in the Herd’s favor.
With the holiday coming up, the Blue Coats have six days off until their next matchup. On Black Friday, they’ll host the Westchester Knicks (1-6) for their only game of the week. Coach Johnson expects to get in three practices before the holiday. Expect the Blue Coats to come out with energy looking to rebound against the Knicks.
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre