Delaware Fightin Blue Hens
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #95
Conference Rank: #3 CAA
Delaware Team Page
Delaware quietly amassed a 12-6 record in CAA play and reached the CBI. In Coach Monte Ross’ first five seasons with the Fightin Blue Hens, Delaware was just 53-103. That is a lot of losses in five seasons, but Coach Ross was building a program and it paid off during the 2011-2012 campaign. With Devon Saddler still around, it will pay off in 2012-2013 too. Saddler, a 6-2 junior, averaged 18.8 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore. Saddler may take a few too many shots from long range, but he is a great all-around scorer who can finish around the basket and knock down his fair share of long balls when he is hot. Saddler can also handle the ball and that is a skill that may come in handy this season. Saddler certainly did not show off much of his ball handling skills last season when he emerged as more of a scoring threat, but he is capable of running the point.
2011-12 Record: 18-14, 12-6
2011-12 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Monte Ross
Coach Record: 71-117 at Delaware, 71-117 overall
Without Khalid Lewis, the lone starter lost, Delaware may need Saddler to do a little more with the ball in his hands. Lewis was not much of a scorer, averaging just 5.2 points per game, but he did lead the team with 2.6 assists per contest. Coach Ross usually did not look very far down his bench, but Kelvin McNeil and Hakim McCullar were the first two big men off of the bench. McNeil averaged 3.0 rebounds per contest despite playing just 14.1 minutes per game while McCullar was more of a defensive presence.
But replacing McNeil and McCullar will not be much of an issue with the addition of three forwards. Carl Baptiste, a transfer from Saint Joseph’s, has the size the Blue Hens need off of the bench. The experience with the Hawks will not hurt either. Baptiste started a couple games as a freshman, but fell out of favor during his sophomore season and only appeared in 17 contests before opting to transfer. Marvin King-Davis spent last season on the sidelines as a redshirt freshman. That year on the pine should have him ready to compete for quality minutes. Maurice Jeffers is the lone incoming freshman and the 6-8 power forward may have trouble finding the floor this year due to the new found depth in the frontcourt.
Who to Watch:
Super sixth man Jarvis Threatt should step right into the starting lineup in place of Lewis. The 6-2 sophomore was third on the team with 10.7 points per game as a freshman and had the best assist-to-turnover ratio among the major contributors. He is a capable shooter, which should open things up a little more for the entire offense if he can handle the point guard duties. Lewis was not a scorer at all, but with a scoring threat on the ball, Delaware’s offense should be a little more dynamic. Kyle Anderson is the shooter of the bunch, although he only connected on 34.0 percent of his 6.5 three-point attempts per game. Yet, Anderson was just a freshman too and he should only get better. If he can attack the basket on occasion, Anderson should turn into a consistent double digit scorer. The frontcourt returns Josh Brinkley and Jamelle Hagins. Brinkley mostly does the dirty work in the paint, but he is an efficient scorer. But it is Hagins who makes the frontcourt so dangerous. The 6-9, 240 pound senior is coming off of a season in which he averaged 12.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Those numbers will be tough to top, but Hagins keeps getting better every year and if that trend continues the rest of the CAA will have trouble scoring in the paint against UD.
The frontcourt has plenty of depth thanks to the newcomers, but depth on the perimeter could turn into a huge problem if injuries should strike. Larry Savage is a 6-5 small forward who can spend some time on the wing, but he averaged just 7.3 minutes as a freshman. The Blue Hens will need him to improve and cover a few more minutes than that. With Threatt presumably headed to the starting five, Delaware lacks a sixth man who can come in and score on the perimeter. While this is an experienced squad, albeit relatively young on the perimeter, asking them to win the CAA is a little much. However, the conference tournament will be depleted due to APR sanctions and ineligible teams who are leaving the conference at the end of the season, so a trip to the NCAA Tournament is certainly a viable goal.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Jarvis Threatt, Sophomore, Guard, 10.7 points per game
Kyle Anderson, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 points per game
Devon Saddler, Junior, Guard, 18.8 points per game
Josh Brinkley, Senior, Forward, 8.7 points per game
Jamelle Hagins, Senior, Forward, 12.4 points per game