This team played at NC Central as it held third place in the MEAC conference (Norfolk State in 2nd) late January. The Hornets are efficient on offense. They start all upperclassman with exception of one sophomore.
Delaware State looked unafraid as it took several uncontested jump shots early in the shot clock in a game’s start against NC Central. The guards are loose cannons when it comes to distributing and running the offense. I witnessed a lot of adrenaline turnovers. As the game progressed, I was still waiting for Delaware State to run an offense involving feeding the post. Hornets have way too many unforced turnovers (9 in 17 minutes in the NC Central game). They also missed a number of layups and chip shots.
Kendall Gray (No. 1) is top five in the nation in rebounding. He is listed at 6′ 10.” ESPN broadcaster Stan Lewter says that he has improved from “just a back-to-the basket scorer.” Gray uses the shot fake often and has decent mid-range touch. Gray is the all-time shot block leader in Hornets history. He runs the floor well, finishing with ease on a touch tip-in after trailing on a fast break. Gray got himself in foul trouble in the game I saw. Gray only fouled out of one game this season (as of January 30th).
Amere May (No. 44) is an instant-offense type of guy. He is a 6′ 3″ senior who scored 48 points against Saint Francis (I know) and 32 in an upset of Wake Forest.
Tyshawn Bell is the guy who really jumped out to me. He is 6′ 7,” can handle the ball in congestion, defends larger players and fills the stat sheet. He also stayed in the game by guarding wisely. Bell also hits 3’s with ease (38% on the season after 91 attempts).
Kendall Gray’s guards also allow him to get lost in the offense. After seeing a game filled with not feeding its NBA prospect, I kept count of how many touches Kendall Gray received in the final five minutes at NC Central.
Possessions with touches: 1) Got to the free-throw line because of a foul away from ball (3:33) although he technically didn’t touch the ball on a possession
Possession without touches: 1) Mays turnover trying to pass to Williams (4:55) 2) Williams step-back three made (4:21) 3) Fast-break drive by DeAndre Haywood led to free-throws (2:56) 4) Failed to feed Gray posting up on the block before Tyshawn Bell hit a late-clock three (1:47) 5) Ironically threw to ball to Gray as the shot clock was already expired (:46) 6) Mays misses a fall-away jump-shot 7) Mays fouled on a missed, desperation three pointer. Mays missed two of three free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining to lose the game by a point.
Because we all root for teams like Delaware State to compete in March, there is good news. The formula is fixable. Feed the NBA prospect the rock. Only fifty teams in the nation have more turnovers than Delaware State (ranking 290th, that’s bad). The Hornets are also only 226th overall in assists per game. If this is going challenge in a March Madness 1-16, 2-15 pairing, May or Gray would have to get red hot.