Photo: Dillard University Athletics

New Orleans, La — With the start of Dillard men’s basketball season around the corner, the Bleu Devils will host their sixth annual Bleu and White game on Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. at Dent Hall.

In anticipation of the much-heated game, the virtual draft was held for the contest on Thursday, Oct. 15. The intrasquad scrimmage will feature a split squad with seven student-athletes on each team.

For the sixth-straight year, Dillard University President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough and athletic director Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes have agreed to serve as the guest head coaches of the teams. Dr. Barnes will coach the White team, while Dr. Kimbrough is set to coach the Bleu team.

“We look forward annually to the Bleu and White game,” head coach Mike Newell stated. “Dr. Barnes and Dr. Kimbrough have done a great job of developing a friendly rivalry against each other and that leads to a very competitive atmosphere in the game. Our players feed off the energy that comes with playing the game and knowing they are representing their chosen team and either Dr. Barnes or Dr. Kimbrough.

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The draft this year, as always, was a very fun experience with a few surprises choices. Dr. Barnes went with more a veteran look to her squad, while Dr. Kimbrough took more of the newcomers. Right now Vegas has Dr. Barnes as a four-point favorite, but that can change as we get closer to tip.”

Round-by-round picks

With the first pick, by virtue of a won coin flip, Dr. Barnes choose Elijah Moore with Malik Amos being allocated to Dr. Kimbrough then from the guards group.

Dr. Kimbrough held the second choice and selected Rajhan Billingsley with Dr. Barnes being then awarded Jeremiah August from the forwards group.

With the third selection it was Dr. Barnes that chose Da’Rell Domineck with Dr. Kimbrough having Tyrus Crawford added to his roster from the center position.

The fourth selection was Dr. Kimbrough’s and he selected Anthony McIntosh with Dr. Barnes being awarded Xavian McKay from the forward spot.

The fifth selection was Mekei Pope for Dr. Barnes with Akeem Oglesby being awarded to Dr. Kimbrough from the point guards.

The sixth choice saw Armon Economou being selected by Dr. Kimbrough as Jevon Brazell went to Dr. Barnes from the guard position group.

The seventh pick was Nick Carmouche (JR/Lafayette, La.) by Dr. Barnes with Shemar Bates going to Dr. Kimbrough from the point guard grouping.

Last year’s contest saw Dr. Barnes’ squad come away with a resounding 118-97 victory to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Dr. Barnes won the inaugural game in 2015 by two, (92-90) and the second game in 2016 (100-97). In 2017, Dr. Kimbrough earned his first win with a seven-point victory (96-89). Dr. Kimbrough was able to extend his winning streak to two in 2018 with a 99-96 victory.

Season expectations

Earlier this week, Dillard was picked to finish third in the GCAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. DU was one of three teams to pick up a first-place vote in the poll. The program was also able to receive votes in the NAIA’s recently released Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

DU brings back four letter winners and adds 10 new members to the squad this season.

Amos returns for his final campaign. Amos had a highly decorated junior year where he was a Second Team NAIA All-American, Co-GCAC Player of the Year, First Team All-GCAC and Second Team All-Louisiana. Amos averaged 19.1 points to lead the team and conference plus rank 16thh nationally.

The Missouri City, Texas native also placed second nationally in free throw percentage (89.8), sixth in three-pointers made (99), 11th in total scoring (613 points) and three-pointers per game (3.09).

Coach Newell is entering his sixth season at the helm of the program and has led Dillard to three NAIA National Championship appearances (2016-18) in his time at the school.

The Bleu Devils have won five titles since his arrival in 2015, which includes two conference regular-season titles (2017-18) and three consecutive tournament titles (2016-18). Under Newell, Dillard is 98-58 and 45-19 in conference play. He has 18 winning seasons, including nine seasons with 20 or more wins. In his 25 seasons as a head coach, Newell has amassed an overall record of 417-323

Dillard is scheduled to open GCAC play on Jan. 7 at home against Talladega at 7:30 p.m. at Dent Hall. The program is slated to play five straight home games to begin the season from Jan. 7 — Jan. 23.

Watch the 2020 Bleu and White Virtual Draft below.

Courtesy: Dillard University Athletics


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