Four year career manifests into breakout season for senior Mountaineer guard


Hiatt Ellis

Senior guard Adrian Delph awaits a free throw attempt against Charlotte Nov. 18.

James Parker, Reporter

Of all the highly skilled players on the App State men’s basketball roster, one player has been an outlier this season. 

Senior guard Adrian Delph had arguably the best game of his career earlier this season, scoring 39 points against Delaware in a 75-68 loss in the Gulf Coast Showcase. He scored efficiently as he shot 76.5% from the field and 63.6% from three.

Not only was this a career game for Delph, but this has been the best season of his career. He averages 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 39% from three. This level of play has led the Mountaineers to second place in the Sun Belt with a 10-5 conference record. But according to his teammates, this breakout season is no surprise.

“I’ve been playing with Delph for four years now, and his game has been the same. I’ve seen him do way more than you guys could even imagine, so what he’s doing this year doesn’t surprise me at all,” senior guard Justin Forrest said. 

Delph started his career with the Mountaineers in the 2018-19 season and averaged 7.1 points and 19 minutes per game. As his playing time increased with each year, his scoring and overall output increased too. He now averages 35 minutes per game. Delph credits his performance this season to controlling the pace of the game.

Delph celebrates a big play in the Mountaineers’ one-point non-conference loss to Charlotte Nov. 18. (Hiatt Ellis)

“I’ve seen a lot of basketball these past four years, and I’ve really learned how to slow the game down in my mind and play with confidence,” Delph said.

Delph also praises the unselfishness of his teammates for their success this season. 

“We feed off of each other’s energy, and there’s a level of unselfishness we have where no one cares who is scoring the ball the most,” Delph said.

The box score shows this as the Mountaineers have a 12.4/10 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.

“We try to share the ball to make the game easier because it takes everyone to go out and win tough games,” Delph said.

Delph has been acknowledged by coaches and teammates for the work ethic he has shown in his four years as a Mountaineer. Head coach Dustin Kerns has high praise for Delph’s hard work over the three years he has coached the Mountaineers.

“He’s a hard worker, and it means a lot to him,” Kerns said. “He’s consistently gotten better on the court, and he’s the type of guy that we want representing our program.”

Named the Sun Belt player of the week Jan. 18, Delph averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and three assists that week. Delph said the longer he played with App State, the more he had to realize the ups and downs of college basketball can be beneficial. 

“Everything in college basketball is not always going to go how you want, and it is not always bad. I believe what helped me was just sticking to what I do the best and just being myself,” Delph said. 

Even when his time as a Mountaineer comes to an end, Delph has no plans to say goodbye to the game of basketball.

“After my time here at App, I plan on continuing my basketball career,” Delph said.