One game later than planned, IPFW men's basketball coach Dane Fife saw what he wanted from Deilvez Yearby.
What he didn't want to see was Yearby breaking team rules, for which he was suspended for IPFW's opening loss at Wisconsin. What he did want to see is the way Yearby went aggressively to the basket in tonight's 86-57 win over Madonna from his new small-forward spot.
Yearby scored a game-high 20 points in just 15 minutes, and shot 10 free throws. He made 8.
"I really liked what I saw in Deilvez tonight," Fife said. "You didn't see a lot of fadeaways from Deilvez. He went to the basket strong and that's when he's best is when he's attacking the basket and making moves and getting to the foul line.
"One thing we're trying to do with him is getting him the ball 15 feet away. That way it's really hard for the defense to help. If they help, they have to leave one of our shooters. So he's basically a guard playing 15 feet from the basket and attacking a guy who has really no chance to guard him if he's playing aggressive and playing the way he's capable of playing."
Tuesday he did that. And Fife hopes it means his best player has turned a corner of sorts.
"I don't know if he thinks he has something to prove," Fife said. "I think that's part of his motivation. But he's just hungry to be the player he thinks he can be and we think he can be."