Raiders vs. NKU Men’s Basketball Jan. 24 | Photo by Soham Parrikh | The Wright State Guardian
With a few key pieces missing from last season and a few more brought in, the men’s basketball coach has prepared a schedule of games for players and fans to look forward to.
Non-conference play: new and old faces
After a defining previous season for Wright State basketball, including a 1-point League Tournament win over its biggest rival and its first ever National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 Tournament win, the Raiders now look to repeat that performance this year.
For a team that has lost big pieces since last season, WSU may have scheduled its most formidable opponent for its very first game, squaring off against Davidson on Nov. 9 at home.
The Wildcats team is coming off of its best season in the Atlantic 10, finishing 15-3 and earning a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The two opponents have never met before, and an A10 matchup could predict how Raider basketball will fare against other A10 conference teams, such as the University of Dayton Flyers.
The second home game is against a familiar in-state opponent, the Bowling Green Falcons, on Nov. 15. The Falcons had a less impressive previous season than the Raiders, with a 6-14 record in the Mid-American Conference; but, an in-state rivalry with a long history should bring a challenge to the Raiders and an exciting atmosphere inside the Nutter Center.
“Our non-conference schedule will be competitive and entertaining for our fans,” Head Coach Scott Nagy said in a press release. “This schedule will prepare us for a tough Horizon League slate that starts as early as December.”
Conference play: An even bigger rivalry
WSU’s rivalries with in-conference teams were heating up more than ever, as it took the conference title with a win over the Cleveland State Vikings and a win over its biggest rival, the Northern Kentucky University Norse, 72-71.
After being down 16 points in the second half, WSU managed a victory and moved onto the NCAA tournament while NKU’s season came to an end, despite beating WSU twice in the regular season.
“For the games in Indianapolis, we had all lost our voices,” WSU’s Dance Team President Camryn Harrell said. “We were losing our minds, and it never occurred to us that we may get as far as we did.”
This season, WSU will face its rival on the road on Dec. 29 and at home on Feb. 10.
“Darren [Horn] always does a great job. They’re good defensively, and they are good offensively. They’re hard for us to guard, they’re physical. It’s not easy,” Nagy said.
After the devastating loss for the Norse and the win for the Raiders, both teams will come into the WSU-NKU rivalry with big things to prove.