The 203-14 Wright State men’s basketball team will be defined by what it does in March, by games in the Horizon League tournament, or the NCAA tournament, it hopes. All the games before that, of course, will shape the team for that stretch run.
Wright State released its full schedule Friday. The Horizon League portion of the schedule may be a little more favorable than last season because there’s not a five-day, three-game road trip. The Raiders do play three games in five days in January, but the first and last game in the span are at home.
“For all the teams in the league, there are times of great adversity,” Wright State coach Billy Donlon said. “We have a few of those times ourselves. Some of that is because we get to play on TV. We’ll see how we handle it.”
The Raiders have seven games on ESPN networks. The second game of the season, at Georgetown on Nov. 13, will be on Fox Sports 1.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had that many,” Donlon said, “so I’m excited about it. I’m excited for our players and fans and for our university. When you get to play eight games on national TV, you get a chance to make a name for yourself.”
Wright State starts practice Sept. 29 and plays its first exhibition game Nov. 1 against Findlay at the Nutter Center. Its regular-season opener is at home Nov. 10 against Mount St. Joseph, a Division III school. The Raiders play nine games in November, compared to six games last season.
The Raiders have another big game three days after playing Georgetown. They visit DePaul on Nov. 16.
That’s the first game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Raiders host Manchester, another D-III school, in that event on Nov. 18. They then play two games in Mobile, Ala., on Nov. 22-23, against Houston Baptist, guard Miles Dixon’s former school, and South Alabama, which is coached by former Butler assistant Matt Graves.
The December schedule features a number of the same opponents the Raiders played last year. A new addition is a home game Dec. 21 against Missouri-Kansas City, a team the Raiders played in the BracketBuster two years ago.
The Raiders play at Miami on Dec. 15. Donlon said guard Chrishawn Hopkins, a transfer from Butler, will probably be eligible for the first time for the Miami game.