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Blue Coats check-in: Jaden Springer showcasing growth in his second year

Jaden Springer, Mac McClung and Louis King highlight this edition of our Blue Coats check-in.

Atlanta Skyhawks v Delaware Blue Coats Photo by KeShawn Ennis/NBAE via Getty Images

A five-game win streak has catapulted the Delaware Blue Coats into the second seed of the G League’s Eastern Conference. They’re now 13-5 on the regular season, with Jaden Springer, Mac McClung and Louis King leading the way.

Jaden Springer’s quiet growth

As most of you know, Springer has bounced between the Sixers and the Blue Coats for the majority of the season. He’s come on as of late, and has been a huge part in the Blue Coats’ recent success.

In his past seven G League games, Jaden Springer averaged 21.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block while shooting 59.4 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. He actually logged more steals (21) in this stretch than turnovers (19), which is impressive.

This hot stretch bumped up Springer’s G League stats significantly after his slow start. Below is a comparison of his regular season per-game stats this year to last year:

2022-23: 13 games, 29.3 minutes, 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.6 steals, 0.9 blocks, 2.4 turnovers, 51.7 percent FG (7.1 FGM, 13.7 FGA), 32.6 percent 3PT (1.2 3PM, 3.5 3PA), 71.7 percent FT, +4.1

2021-22: 19 games, 26.8 minutes, 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.8 turnovers, 46.4 percent FG (5.4 FGA, 11.6 FGM), 24.1 percent 3PT (0.7 3PM, 3.1 3PA), 65.1 percent FT, +3.3

There’s plenty of G League season left, but Springer’s stellar play as of late shows he’s trending in the right direction. Most specifically, improvement in his three-point shot will be the key stat to watch in the coming months.

Mac McClung earns a two-way contract

Mac McClung has been vital to the Blue Coats’ success, often switching between a starting and sixth man role throughout the season. McClung’s success earned him a two-way spot, with the Sixers waiving Julian Champagnie. On the year, McClung is averaging 19 points, 2.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds while hitting 51.7 percent of his shots.

Along with the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest, McClung will participate in the Rising Stars Game along with fellow G League players Sidy Cissoko, Scoot Henderson (who will likely go top-three in this upcoming NBA draft), Nojave King, Kenneth Lofton Jr., Leonard Miller, and Scotty Pippen Jr. The Blue Coats will be one of four G League team’s represented in this event.

McClung will be the first Sixer to participate in the NBA’s Dunk Contest in nearly 20 years — the last time being in 2005-06, with Andre Iguodala. Fun Fact: No Sixer has ever won this event. McClung would be the first to do so.

Two-way player Louis King’s well-rounded production

Sixers fans haven’t gotten a chance to see much of Louis King since the they signed him to a two-way contract. Since joining the Blue Coats, King has been a consistent source for well-rounded production; often contributing with points, rebounds, and assists.

For a wing, scoring and rebounding is an expectation — both of which King has done well in. On the year, he’s averaging 16 points per game on 49.3 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from three (on 6.1 attempts). This is the scoring production you want to see out of a two-way player, but his playmaking potential has become an area of intrigue.

King joined the Delaware Blue Coats in late December. Since his arrival, he’s logged two games with double-digit assists. On the year, he’s dished out 5.8 assists per game while turning over the ball 2.3 times per game — a 2.52 to 1 ratio.

Louis King will probably never be a full-time point guard at the next level. However, multi-dimensional wings that can shoot, rebound and put the ball on the floor are valuable. It remains to be seen if this production can translate at the next level, but King has arguably been the most interesting two-way prospect the Sixers have had in a minute.

Springer, McClung, King, and the Delaware Blue Coats’ next game is on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., post-All Star break. They’ll face off against the Motor City Cruise, the Detroit Pistons’ G League affiliate. Catch the game at the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware or on TV with ESPN+ or DETV Channel 28.

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