Delaware Blue Coats keep the momentum flowing against College Park Skyhawks

Louis King controls the ball while being guarded. King was one of the leading scorers against College Park. Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. - Staff Photographer / Tyrese Williams

The Delaware Blue Coats soared into the All-Star break on Monday evening, Feb. 13, defeating the College Park Skyhawks 130-104 at Chase Fieldhouse. The win marked the Coats’ fifth straight, and they have won 11 of their last 13 games overall.

“Our energy day in and day out has picked up since the first day I’ve been with these guys,” Louis King said. “We’re just having fun now. It’s all about playing together, having fun, and embracing the spirit.”

The Coats displayed a balanced offensive attack with every starter scoring in double figures. Jaden Springer had 22 points, two steals and two blocks, Louis King had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Mac McClung added 15 points and seven rebounds. Julian Champagnie and Michael Foster Jr. rounded out the starting five with 10 points and eight rebounds each.

“We got a lot of weapons, a lot of powerful weapons,” King said. “We just keep bringing in guys with energy off the bench that wanna play, it brings a good atmosphere to the team. We’re just having fun.”

Off the bench, Braxton Key scored 16 points, Brown Jr. had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Jared Brownridge chipped in another 13.

“We got the best team in the league,” Brown Jr. said. “Our depth, the way we can switch on and off the ball, it’s been big for us. Coby [Head Coach Coby Karl] has done a great job of keeping guys involved and keeping them motivated.”

In the first half, the Coats’ offense made it a point of emphasis to dominate the paint, scoring 42 points in the paint. In the second half, however, the Coats only scored 24 points in the paint.

King agreed that the offense’s goal in the second half was to spread out the offense and play with a more upbeat pace.

“The plan was to come out, get a lot of transition points, stop their offense, wall up, verticality, all the stuff we work on in practice,” King said. “Doing that, it played a big part in the win.”

A point of emphasis in Delaware’s offense this season has been transition buckets. Coach Karl’s squad loves to turn great defense into even better offense, getting fast-break opportunities and engineering a fast-paced offense.

“Our biggest thing is just staying in the moment,” Charlie Brown Jr. added. “Game to game it’s gonna be different, we know that, and we gotta adjust to that. But all-in-all, we got a group of guys that stay disciplined and they get the job done offensively and defensively.”

That wasn’t necessarily the case on Monday, with the Coats scoring just eight fast-break points. King shared his thoughts about the team’s pace against the Skyhawks.

“We could’ve been better at times, but we still pulled out the win,” King said. “We got a lot of threes up, a lot of stops. I think what tonight came down to was us getting big stops and steals, and then getting some easy layups and threes.”

In comparison to their win over the Wisconsin Herd, the Coats’ defense improved significantly. Just two days after allowing their second-most points of the season (139), Delaware’s defense cut that total by 35 points against College Park.

“We were going back and forth with the Herd scoring-wise,” King said. “We felt like we couldn’t do that, we’re too talented to do that as a team. As we score, we gotta get stops. Once we realized we needed to get stops, that separated us from Saturday’s game [against the Heard].”

For Brown Jr. specifically, he made things tough for the Skyhawks by collecting three steals.

“We were more locked in on shooters,” Brown Jr. said. “They got length and they got a couple guys that can hit, so we tried to pack it in and make it tough for them.”

Brown Jr. got involved offensively as well, scoring 15 points on 6-7 shooting while also grabbing nine rebounds, but it’s no secret that Brown Jr’s. prowess lies on the defensive end.

“Just make it tough,” Brown Jr. said in reference to his defensive mindset. “That’s one of my best attributes, and I try to use it day in and day out. These guys, they feed off it, they feed off my energy. We all love it.”

In addition to the win, another cool moment was shared by the Blue Coats late in the fourth quarter. In the waning minutes of the blowout, the 6-foot-5-inch guard out of Georgetown, Aminu Mohammed, got three minutes of game action and did not waste them. Mohammed displayed his athleticism, scoring seven highlight-reel-worthy points while also gathering two steals.

The Coats’ bench went wild for every second of those three minutes.

“We know what Aminu [Mohammad] can do,” Brown Jr. said. “The opportunity isn’t here for him right now, but he’s a great player and a great kid. You see what he can do out there, we all love him. We know the energy he can bring, and we love it.”

The Blue Coats will look to make it six straight when the Motor City Cruise come to town on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

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