The G-League serves many diverse purposes. For some teams, player development rules the day. Other teams will experiment with new schematic concepts. Yet other teams will focus on fan experience, wins and losses.
The Philadelphia 76ers, under Brett Brown and GM Elton Brand, gave the Delaware Blue Coats a simple mission for the 2018/19 season. Do everything we do, mirror our program, and develop a pipeline.
The Talent Pipeline
This sort of direction seems obvious, but it is often not the core mission for a G-League program. This approach carries some downsides both for coaches and players who are driven by competition.
When you watch the Blue Coats program, however, one player stands out as being an exemplar of the concept, Jared Brownridge.
Brownridge, 24, is in his first full professional season. He played two games late last season for the Delaware 87ers and spent a full offseason in the program.
Caught up with @blue_coats GM @RealMattLilly pregame and talked about the maturity, shooting ability and defense of @23Jbrown .— J Blevins (@JBlevinsPFO) January 29, 2019
"He's a 2000 point scorer in college who has come in and surprised us all… He's going to be successful in anything he does in life" Said Lilly.
Brownridge is a steadying force on a team that has the been challenged by its own success in many ways. The team has proved to be an able preparatory program for the Sixers. Jonah Bolden, Shake Milton, and Haywood Highsmith are all starters who spent time back and forth with the Sixers.
Bolden looks to have permanently stuck with the Sixers squad at this point.
This has resulted in a multitude of different starting lineups for the Coats depending on who is available on any given night. Brownridge has started 15 of the 27 games, scoring 14 points per game while shooting 38% from three on nearly 9 attempts per game.
In Tuesday night’s win against the Grand Rapids Drive, Brownridge came off the bench and scored 8 points with 2 steals to maintain the pressure on a night where the Coats turned over the Drive 26 times.
“He’s been playing really well. I think that he’s a guy who’s exceeded a lot of expectations coming in, in terms of his production for us. He’s really shot the ball well. I think that he’s proven that he can be an elite shooter at this level, and he’s gotten a lot better defensively. He knows exactly what we are doing, and what we’re trying to get. He’s really helped us.” – Connor Johnson on Jared Brownridge
Brownridge is finding his way as both a rare unselfish sniper and a source of comfort for his coach. Listen below to our interview with Jared from December.