Ingelsby excited entering 2nd year as Hens eye hoop opener

Blue Hen senior guard Anthony Mosley averaged 10.0 points and had 83 assists last season. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — The season hasn’t even started yet and already Martin Ingelsby can see a difference.

Last season, the Delaware men’s basketball team was very much a work in progress.

With Ingelsby not hired as the Blue Hens’ coach until May, he only had time to sign a few recruits and then patch them together with the players who were left.

Now that he’s got a full roster — albeit a young one — the former Notre Dame assistant simply has more to work with.

“Last year I felt like we had seven guys to go to,” said Ingelsby. “Now we have 10 eligible bodies and, one through 10, it’s been really competitive in practice. Guys are earning an opportunity.

“The white team is the starting five but a lot of times the blue team has given the white team all they can handle. That’s a good thing. I think we’re getting the best out of each other.”

“I really like this group,” said second-year UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “I’m really excited to go to practice every day and coach this group.”

Whether that translates into more victories this season remains to be seen, of course. Delaware opens the season on Friday night at Richmond before traveling to Bradley on Tuesday.

Of course, mighty Notre Dame is coming to Newark on Dec. 9.

All things considered, the Hens felt pretty good about last year’s 13-20 campaign. That was six more victories than they had the year before.

Delaware also won a first-round Colonial Athletic Association Tournament game and gave top-seeded UNC-Wilmington a second-round test before falling, 91-82.

“I think we can be more competitive,” said Ingelsby. “Going through year one in the CAA, I felt like every game was a road game. I’ve seen these teams from afar but you’re getting a feel for systems, style of play, personnel. I do think with our group this year, we can be more consistent and competitive night-in and night-out.”

Sophomore guard Ryan Daly (16.0 points, 7.4 rebounds) was CAA Rookie of the Year.

“They bring a winning culture,” 6-foot-9 junior forward Eric Carter said about Delaware’s coaching staff. “The coaches know what it takes to be successful. They’ve implemented a system that we’ve all bought into now. It shows that it works when we were successful at the end of the year and made a little bit of noise in the tournament.”

The Hens have a small group of veterans to build around. That list includes senior guard Anthony Mosley (10.0 points, 83 assists last year), the former Dover resident, Carter (6.6 points. 5.5 rebounds), junior guard Darian Bryant (7.6 points, 57 assists) and senior forward Skye Johson (3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds).

But, on a roster that includes seven freshmen or sophomores, Delaware’s young players will also have a lot to say about the Hens’ fortunes this winter.

Sophomore guard Ryan Daly (16.0 points, 7.4 rebounds) was the CAA Rookie of the Year while sophomore forward Jacob Cushing started to have more of an impact at the end of the season. Sophomore forward Derrick Woods, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound transfer from St. Bonaventure, is also eligible to play now.

The Hens are also excited about the potential of their three freshmen guards: Kevin Anderson and Chryee Walker, who both stand 6-foot-5, and Ryan Allen.

“I really like this group,” said Ingelsby. “I’m really excited to go to practice every day and coach this group. We have a good balance of some older guys who have been through the battles before and then a really young, talented freshmen class. I’m excited to see how we can develop and mesh through the next five and a half months.”

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