breaking news

750 books stolen from Springfield book store

NCAA appearance makes scheduling difficult for Wright State


Wright State coach Scott Nagy is finding the task of scheduling quality nonleague opponents tougher than ever after leading the Raiders to their first NCAA tournament bid in 11 years , so he said accepting a bid to the Cancun Challenge made sense for the program on several levels.

“If you do get one of them scheduled, usually you have to play those people at their place,” Nagy said. “These obviously are not easy games. These are top-level opponents. But if you can play them on a neutral floor, you certainly have a better chance.”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

Wright State will play 2018 NIT champion Penn State and either Bradley or NCAA tournament participant SMU during the week of Thanksgiving at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico.

“The players that are going to be seniors on our basketball team have not been able to take a trip like this, so it’s nice that we can reward them,” Nagy said.

The eight-team tournament replaces the Wright State Tournament the tournaments the team had held at the Nutter Center the last two seasons against lower-level competition.

›› MORE: Wright State has two open scholarships after Davenport’s departure

The Cancun Challenge begins with WSU playing a pair of home games before flying to Mexico for the final two games. WSU will play Western Carolina on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in the season opener and North Florida on Friday, Nov. 17.

The game against Penn State, a 26-win team last season, will be at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. If Wright State wins, it will play the SMU-Bradley winner on Wednesday, Nov. 22. If the Raiders lose to the Nittany Lions, they will face the loser of the SMU-Bradley game.

Both games in Cancun will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

The team will fly home on Thanksgiving.

›› RELATED: Three WSU players selected in MLB Draft

Nagy said he and his assistants have participated in the Cancun Invitational twice during their time at South Dakota State, and they also took the Jackrabbits to a tournament in the Virgin Islands.

In addition to the challenge of playing quality opponents, the trips have a chance to be good bonding experiences.

“They can be, but if you go and lose games it doesn’t necessarily help things,” Nagy said. “This will be the toughest one we’ve ever played in for sure in terms of the competition level we have to play.”

In addition to winning games, the goal is to let the players have some fun and enjoy the experience.

“We try to let them do some stuff,” Nagy said. “It’s hard to mix the business/pleasure thing. Like my wife, she doesn’t even go on the trips because knows it’s not really a vacation. And I’m definitely not in that mode.

“But I’m not crazy either,” he added. “I don’t make the guys just stay in the room and do nothing. We certainly want them to be able to enjoy this as much as possible outside of basketball.

According to a press release from the university, seating is limited for the games in Cancun and travel packages are the only way to guarantee admission to the games.

For travel package information, contact Sarah Sullivan at 970-672-0533 (email to sarah@triplecrownsports.com) or visit the website atwww.cancunchallenge.net.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Urban Meyer endorses play of Ohio State offensive line
Urban Meyer endorses play of Ohio State offensive line

The play of Ohio State’s offensive line has been a bit of a lightning rod among the fan base this season.  The head coach provided an endorsement of the group Monday — but he wants to see more. “I think we could play a little bit better,” Meyer said two days after the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 26-6. “That was a...
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 51-14 loss to the Saints
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 51-14 loss to the Saints

The Cincinnati Bengals were missing their best player on offense Sunday, and the defense just didn’t show up at all. The result was one of the worst losses in franchise history, as the Bengals fell 51-14 to the New Orleans Saints. »RELATED: Bengals reportedly fire defensive coordinator »RELATED: 5 takeaways from Bengals’ blowout...
Cincinnati Bengals: Head coach Marvin Lewis to take over team’s struggling defense
Cincinnati Bengals: Head coach Marvin Lewis to take over team’s struggling defense

One day after an embarrassing defensive performance in a season full of them, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, a former defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, will take over the defense moving forward. “I appreciate the hard work that Coach Austin has put into our football team, but...
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 takeaways from blowout loss to Saints
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 takeaways from blowout loss to Saints

Disappointing, frustrating, embarrassing — all words the Cincinnati Bengals used to describe Sunday’s loss. The New Orleans Saints scored on nine straight drives, racked up 509 yards of offense and handed the Bengals a 51-14 loss Sunday in front of 52,492 fans at Paul Brown Stadium in what was one of Cincinnati’s most lopsided...
High School Football Playoffs: Regional final pairings, sites
High School Football Playoffs: Regional final pairings, sites

The Ohio High School Athletic Association released the pairings for the regional finals (third round) of the football playoffs Sunday. Home team listed first. Pairings include seed and record. 1 Mentor (11-1) vs. 7 Lakewood St. Edward (8-3) at Euclid Community Field 4 Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-4) vs. 2 Dublin Coffman (11-1) at New Albany Veterans...
More Stories