Before the Delaware Blue Coats season opener, excitement filled the arena. An impressive crowd showed up early to witness the championship ring ceremony. Fans were excited that G-League basketball was back in Wilmington and happy for the players who brought home a title.
Blue Coats humbled in season-opener
New faces on the roster took the court along with new Blue Coats general manager, Jameer Nelson. Also new in his position was Mike Longabardi who replaced Coby Karl, who is now an assistant coach with the Sixers.
Unfortunately, the outcome of the game did not match the hopes of the 1,548 fans who attended. The Blue Coats lost in a blowout to the Westchester Knicks, 103-135.
The leading scorer on the night for the Blue Coats was Terquavion Smith, who scored 37 points off the bench. Smith showed off an array of moves in the first half. He scored on runners, catch-and-shoot threes, and even on crossover pull-up jumpers. Although he went cold in the second half, he kept pushing the ball hard trying to close the gap.
Blue Coats dealt a tough hand from a friendly face
A familiar face on the other team helped give Westchester a large lead. Charlie Brown, Jr., Philly native and former Blue Coat, gave Delaware problems all night. He scored 18 points, with six rebounds and three steals.
If there was another bright spot for the Bluecoats besides Smith, it was Ricky Council IV. Council is currently on a two-way contract with the 76ers. The stocky 6‘6“ guard played 29 minutes and scored 19 points. He went three for nine from the three-point line and secured nine rebounds.
His offensive skill set was impressive for the undrafted player out of Arkansas. He drove the lane and finished strong in transition while showing range on his shot. He had a thunderous tomahawk slam on a fast break in the third quarter that had the crowd in awe.
Javonte Smart scored 17 on the night. He grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists. His three-point shooting was off as he only went 1-7 beyond the arc. He also had five turnovers, so it was a rough start for Smart.
The second half is when things really fell apart for the Bluecoats. With the lack of room protection, Westchester took advantage of the open lane. Their guard tandem, Duane Washington and Brandon Goodwin, looked like an NBA backcourt, putting up 51 points combined.
In the end, the Knicks spoiled the season opener for the Blue Coats and Longabardi’s coaching debut. Delaware’s next game is Monday, Nov. 13th at 7pm against the Capital City Go-Go.
Philly Sports Network, Zach Ciavolella