This past Saturday night, Nov. 6, Shaq Harrison stepped onto the Delaware Blue Coats court as the starter with the most NBA and the NBA G League experience.
Matching his career-high 29 points, Harrison was a key factor in the Coats’ 114-100 victory over the Long Island Nets.
In a game that was only close in the beginning, Harrison’s performance throughout the night helped keep the Nets at an arm’s length through most of the final 36 minutes. In the second quarter, Harrison scored 12 of his 29 points.
“I thought he was incredible,” Blue Coats Head Coach Coby Karl said. “You know, obviously, he’s an incredible defender. He was able to make threes, get to the rim. I mean, he set the tone for us.”
The first quarter finished with a two-point lead for the Blue Coats, with a 26-24 score. Harrison’s scoring in the second quarter gave the team a massive 61-40 lead, which was not relinquished by Delaware.
Harrison took his game to the next level in between the two quarters with a simple tactic.
“Just get the jitters out,” Harrison said. “You know, the first game in a while, everything moving a little fast, so [I] calmed down, took a couple deep breaths and, you know, settled in.”
However, it was not only Harrison who showed up to play for Delaware on Saturday night. On both sides of the court, it was a group effort, as players like Charlie Brown Jr. also recorded a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) and the team as a whole racked up 18 steals throughout the night.
“You know, I have to credit my teammates for that because we’re all talking, we’re all out there grinding and flying around,” Harrison said. “I can’t fully do that without my teammates helping me.”
The Blue Coats let up a little towards the end of the game, letting the Nets shrink their deficit from 26 points to 14 with less than four minutes remaining. Despite the late-game struggles, Coach Karl still sees a lot of potential in this team.
“I was a little disappointed with the way we finished the game, obviously. I was disappointed with my performance leading them with our substitution patterns,” Coach Karl said. “But we beat a really, really good team and I think they showed a lot of things we could build on.”
Coach Karl doesn’t expect Harrison to stay a G League player for too much longer.
“I don’t think he’ll be here very long because I think that’s how good of a basketball player he is. He can really help the team and he helped us a lot with defense,” Karl said. “He kept his composure, made some shots. You know, he’s just a winner.”
The Blue Coats will head on the road to face the Maine Celtics next Friday, Nov. 12, to build off this first-win momentum as their season gets rolling.
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