Sports Commentary: A look at Delaware men’s basketball so far and the season ahead
Following Delaware’s triumph over Columbia University in New York, N.Y., the Blue Hens are 7-2, tied for first in the CAA with Charleston.
Not only is this start exceptional, it is historic.
This is their best start since the 1999-2000 season, when Delaware boasted a 9-1 record early on in the season.
The Blue Hens have been playing well on both sides of the ball. Delaware leads the CAA in scoring margin (+8.6), field goal percentage (48.9) and three-point field goal percentage (42.4).
Watching them play, it’s clear that the key to their success on offense is passing. Playmakers such as sophomore guard Kevin Anderson, redshirt senior forward Eric Carter and redshirt senior guard Darian Bryant use their leadership on the court to make connecting passes that lead to open shots.
Anderson has 41 assists, leading the Blue Hens in assists by 15 and is ranked fifth in the CAA in that department. Carter follows with 26 assists and Darian Bryant with 22. But their leadership would all be for naught without their finishers.
Carter has been a leader by not only making plays, but executing as well. Carter is ranked sixth in points per game (18.1) and second in field goal percentage (63.8) in the CAA. He leads Delaware in both categories.
Freshmen Ithiel Horton and Matt Veretto started the season coming off the bench and performed exceptionally. In recent weeks they’ve both made their way into the starting lineup.
Horton is second on the Blue Hens in points per game, averaging 13.1 points. Veretto has been shooting with precision, shooting 34-61 (55.7 percent) overall and 16-31 (51.6 percent) from outside the arc.
On offense alone, the Blue Hens are a formidable force. They are able to score consistently and their amount of offensive performers and cohesive work as a team has allowed for their great success.
On defense, Delaware leads the CAA in opponent’s field goal percentage (41.1).
On an individual basis, Carter is tied for fifth in the CAA for blocked shots with eight.
The Blue Hens have not only proven so far that they are a contender for the playoffs this year, but if they keep playing at the pace they’ve maintained so far this season, they will be one of the teams to beat in the CAA.