CAA Team Previews: Delaware Fighting Blue Hens
Last Season Record: (18-14, 12-6), 5th in CAA
Key Losses: The 2011-2012 Fighting Blue Hens roster was led by a bevy of talented underclassmen. Delaware is very fortunate to be returning all of last season’s leaders while the squad only lost two seniors who did not receive major minutes as well.
Key Additions: 6-8 F Carl Babtiste. Babtiste, a junior from Pittstown, NJ, transferred to Delaware last season from St. Joseph’s University. Per NCAA Transfer rules, the Forward was redshirted for the 2011-2012 campaign and will now look to contribute to the Blue Hens success this season while dawning #33.
Coach: Head Coach Monté Ross will be entering his 7th season as the man in charge of the Blue Hens. In 2012, Ross lead his team to its best overall and conference records of his tenure as he guided the squad all the way to the CAA Quarterfinals. 2011-2012 was also the first season Ross led the Blue Hens to a winning record.
Player to Watch: 6-8 F Jamelle Hagins. While playing 31 minutes a night for the Blue Hens in 2011-2012, Hagins averaged 12.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3 blocks per game while shooting an impressive 55 percent from the field. Hagins has increased his production every season since joining Delaware in 2009 and hopes to build off his 2nd Team All-CAA and 1st Team CAA All-Defensive honors from last season this winter.
Prediction: The Fighting Blue Hens enter the 2012-2013 season with appropriately-high hopes. Their team, which will feature four seniors, is loaded with experience and star power. What should set Delaware apart from its CAA foes is its highly-anticipated inside-out game, which will consist of Hagins and 6-2 junior Guard Devon Saddler. After finishing 5th in the Conference last season, look for the Blue Hens to grow together this season and compete for the conference championship and maybe even a bid to the big dance.
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