Bulked-up ex-Panther Mallory emerges as star for Hornets

DOVER — DeVaughn Mallory spent the offseason in between his freshman and sophomore seasons bulking up.

Noticeably bigger for his sophomore year at Delaware State, the former Polytech High standout has developed into one of the Hornets’ most important players.

“Freshman year I was real skinny and people could bully me,” Mallory said. “I felt I had to get bigger so I could play with the big boys.”

Mallory is the leading rebounder on the Hornets with 6.6 rebounds a game. He is also averaging 9.8 points per game.

A role player last year, Mallory has started all 14 contests for DSU this season.

DeVaughn Mallory is the leading rebounder on the Hornets with 6.6 rebounds a game. He is also averaging 9.8 points per game. (Submitted photo)

That has given him even more confidence on the offensive end.

“I’m not nervous and stuff,” he said. “My shot selection and my percentages have gotten a lot better from before. Back then I was nervous to take shots but this year I feel more free on the court like I did in high school.”

And Mallory has performed well in DelState’s big out of conference matchups.

In DSU’s signature win this year, an upset at St. John’s, Mallory shot 8-of-13 from the floor to score 16 points and also grabbed six rebounds.

Last week when the Hornets traveled to Indiana, Mallory was DSU’s top scorer with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting and finished with nine rebounds, one shy of a double-double. His performance caught the eye of Indiana coach Tom Crean.

“Mallory is a very good midrange player,” Crean said at his postgame press conference.

For a team which was statistically one of the worst rebounding teams in the country last year, Mallory’s performance on the boards has given it a boost.

Mallory is DSU’s best rebounder despite only being listed as 6-foot-7 as an undersized power forward. He is the fourth-tallest player on the DelState roster.

Mallory’s goal coming into this season was to be a better rebounder.

“I knew I would have to step up,” he said. “Last year after every game coach would say we were losing because teams we outrebounding us. I made that my challenge. I wanted to be the one who could help us win games by rebounding more.”

Mallory said he first felt like a real Division I basketball player with a strong performance on the road at Nebraska last season as a freshman. He shot a perfect 3-for-3 that day which caused coach Keith Walker to turn to him more throughout the season

“The moment I actually settled in was when we played Nebraska last year,” Mallory said. “They were a big team and coach told me that I performed well and I earned a lot of playing time that game.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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