#719 University of Delaware Blue Hensvs.#720 Bradley University Braves
Written by David Hess
When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 13, 2016
Where: Carver Arena in Peoria, Illinois
Lines: Bradley -6
College basketball action on Sunday evening and the Delaware Blue Hens will battle it out with the Bradley Braves at Carver Arena in Peoria, Illinois. The Blue Hens look to bounce back from a miserable 7-23 season a year ago, while the Bradley Braves are off a season that saw them go just 5-27. Both teams need to get off to good starts this year to build confidence.
Last year, Delaware went just 7-23 and as a result they have a new head coach in Martin Ingelsby, who will look to rebuild this proud team. Inglesby served as an assistant on the Notre Dame staff for 13 seasons. The Blue Hens have just two starters back from last year’s team, but they have nine players back overall. Their big loss in the offseason was Kory Holden, who led the team in scoring with 17.7 ppg. He has transferred to South Carolina. They also lose their 2nd leading scorer in Martin King-Davis, who graduated. Senior guard Cazmon Hayes returns and they will be looking for big things from him this year after averaging 11.3 ppg last year.
The Blue Hens have a couple of solid recruits coming in, but after going just 2-16 in CAA play last year losing their top two scorers from that team, plus the coaching change, this is clearly a rebuilding season for Delaware. Last year they were 312th in the nation in scoring, putting up just 66.2 ppg and 326th in shooting at 40.2%. At the defensive end of the floor they were 271st in points allowed, giving up 75.7 ppg and 181st in defensive FG% at 43.6%.
Brian Wardle had a very tough first season at the helm of the Bradley Braves as he went just 5-27 overall and 3-15 within the MVC. They were one of the youngest team in the league last year and are hoping that that youth pays off this year. Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (9.8 ppg), was an all MVC Freshman selection last year and he gives them hope for this year. Donte Thomas is also back this year after putting up 9.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg last year. Those two are the core of this team which is very young again. They have six players that were freshman last year, plus have added six more freshman this year, so they are again a very young team, but this could very well be a team to watch over the next couple of years as those young players grow and develop.
This does look like another rough year, but they are headed in the right direction and should be a bit more competitive than they were a year ago. Last year Braves were dead last in the nation in scoring, putting up just 56.0 ppg and 2nd to last in the nation in shooting at 38.0%. At the defensive end of the floor they were not terrible as they ranked 124th in points allowed, giving up just 69.9 ppg and 204th in defensive FG% at 44.0%.
Going with the Braves here. Both teams are of bad years and both teams are rebuilding once again, but the Braves may be a little bit ahead of the Blue Hens. The Braves had a young team last year and that talent should show up a bit more this year, while the Blue Hens have lost their top two scorers and are going through a coaching change, Look for the Braves to win this one by at least eight points.
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