Delaware Blue Hens’ Asamoah emerges as a 3-point threat

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NEWARK — Ebby Asamoah’s restrictions on putting up a three-point shot are pretty simple these days.

The Delaware guard doesn’t have any.

“If they don’t have a hand up, Coach told me I have the green light to just let it go,” Asamoah said with a smile.

Nobody would argue with that philosophy right now, either.

With the Blue Hens (4-2 CAA, 13-6 overall) hosting Elon (2-4 CAA, 5-14 overall) today at 1 p.m. in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball matchup, Asamoah has suddenly become one of the biggest outside shooting threats the Hens have.

Over the last seven games, the 6-foot-4 junior is 21-of-36 from beyond the arc. He is 29-of-66 for the season.

Not bad for a guy who made only 33 threes in his first two seasons combined. That shooting touch is a big reason why Asamoah tallied 19 points — one shy of his career high — in Delaware’s 84-74 win over William & Mary on Thursday night.

His teammates say they could always see Asamoah was capable of being a scorer. Of his 80 field-goal attempts this season, 66 have been three-point shots.

“Ebby probably has the best shot on the team, to be honest,” said senior guard Kevin Anderson. “The shots he was taking today — just rising up over people — we know that’s a shot that he takes all the time (in practice).

“We just really had to put that confidence in him — like, ‘Bro, if you shoot one and it goes in and out, shoot the next one. Because it’s going to go in. We know you can shoot the ball.’

“Eighty percent of the time when Ebby shoots the ball, I think it’s going to go in. Whenever he shoots it, I just get back on defense.”

Coach Martin Ingelsby, who says Asamoah is still one of the squad’s top defenders, has enjoyed watching his confidence grow.

“I’ve been really happy and proud of his evolution as a basketball player — how hard he works,” said Ingelsby. “I got on our three perimeter guys, like we’ve got to get that dude more shots. It takes pressure off them.

“He’s got the ‘greenest’ of lights out of anybody maybe I’ve coached in my six years here.”

Asamoah said he knows there’s plenty of other Delaware players who are capable of putting up big scoring numbers. The Hens’ top six players average at least 7.3 ppg with four averaging in double figures.

“I’m comfortable being like the fifth option,” said Asamoah, who has raised his average to 7.3 ppg. “I think we’re all versatile enough to all score the ball at an efficient level. To keep doing that is going to be the key for us.”

Monmouth joining CAA

Monmouth will reportedly be joining Delaware in the CAA next season.

The league was looking for another football-playing member after James Madison decided to move to the Sun Belt Conference.

The Hawks, who have been playing in the Big South, have made the NCAA FCS Division I football playoffs three times since 2017. They are 1-3 in playoff games but only lost to Sam Houston State, 21-15, in 2020.

Since 1996, Monmouth has won seven league titles in either the Northeast or Big South Conference.

Delaware has played the Hawks just once in football. The Hens downed Monmouth, 42-7, in 2007 with a squad that ended up in the FCS national title game.

The CAA is also reportedly looking at Hampton and Stony Brook as possible members. Stony Brook is currently a member of the Colonial in football only.

Hornets finally home

Delaware State’s men’s basketball team will finally play its first home game in 40 days Saturday.

The Hornets (0-1 MEAC, 2-12 overall) are slated to host North Carolina Central (0-0 MEAC, 6-9 overall) at 4:30 p.m. in their first game in Memorial Hall since Dec. 11.

The DSU women (0-0 MEAC, 0-9 overall), who haven’t played a home game since Dec. 4, host N.C. Central (0-3 MEAC, 1-11 overall) at 2 p.m.

Fans are currently not permitted to attend DelState home events due to COVID concerns. The university hopes to be able to allow fans again starting on Feb. 7.

Both basketball games can be seen on DSU’s YouTube channel (DESU-TV).

Notes

Dover High grad Elijah Allen netted 15 points in his debut with the West Chester basketball team ... Former Delaware defensive lineman Zach Kerr was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals ahead of their playoff game this weekend. This will be the sixth team he’s been with in his eight-year NFL career ... Delaware State’s student-athletes posted a combined GPA of 3.19 (on a 4.0 scale) for the fall 2021 term. ... Cape Henlopen grad Abbey Hearn, a sophomore on the Kutztown basketball team, recently tallied a career-high 23 points in a game against Lock Haven. The 6-foot-2 forward is averaging 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds and also has 24 blocks.