Raiders try to return to normalcy after clinching NCAA tourney bid

After a week of intense basketball, an energetic celebration following a 74-57 win in the Horizon League championship game and a rowdy four-hour bus ride home, one would think the first order of business for the Wright State players when they arrived back on campus at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday would be to get some sleep.

Instead, they fired up the DVR.

“We got back to the apartment and these guys put the game on,” junior Mark Hughes said, nodding toward senior Grant Benzinger and freshman Loudon Love during a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Setzer Pavilion.

“I knew I had class, so I couldn’t stay up,” Hughes added. “I went to sleep about 3:15. But some of them stayed up and watched the whole game again. I don’t know what time they got to bed.”

›› 5 takeaways from Wright State’s win in Horizon League championship game

The reason the Raiders rolled out of Detroit late Tuesday night after winning the title rather that Wednesday morning was so the players wouldn’t have to miss another day of classes.

But rather than an exhausting experience, going back to class was an exciting one for the players on a small campus where everyone knows who they are and what they accomplished.

›› Who could Wright State play in first round of NCAA tournament

“I sit in the back of class, so I walked in and sat down and tried not to draw to much attention,” Love said before being interrupted by coach Scott Nagy.

“You’re supposed to sit in front,” he said.

“People were turning around congratulating me,” Love said. “It’s a great feeling on campus because it’s a whole community that’s part of it.”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

All of the players and most of the students on campus were in elementary or middle school the last time Wright State made the NCAA tournament in 2007.

But there are faculty members who remember it well.

“I was walking in with the teacher and she was telling me about the last time we won a championship in 2007, and how great it was for the campus and all the publicity we got,” Hughes said. “She told me I was doing a good job, so that was pretty nice. Everyone came up to me patting me on the back, telling me ‘congrats’ and stuff.”

›› ARCHDEACON: NCAA-tournament bound Raiders believe in team, each other

Nagy told the players after Tuesday night’s win that was going to happen, and it would be important for them to gather themselves and show humility and that it would be his job “to bring them back down to earth.”

Thursday morning that process began.

“I got after them a little bit in practice (Thursday) morning, just to get them going again,” Nagy said. “It’s back to normal. It has to be back to normal. There’s going to be enough that’s going to be abnormal about this that when we get in practice and we do the other things, it has to be normal.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores
High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores

Allen East 50, Delphos Jefferson 6 Alter 45, Fenwick 20 Anderson 47, Withrow 12 Badin 42, Roger Bacon 35, OT Bellbrook 21, Franklin 17 Bellefontaine 14, Ben Logan 6 Brookville 42, Carlisle 2 Butler 13, Xenia 7, OT Celina 42, Ottawa-Glandorf 24 Chaminade Julienne 61, Carroll 30 Cin. Country Day 28, New Miami 20 Clinton-Massie 34, Bishop Hartley 31 Col...
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern

An athlete rarely gets a second chance to be a hero, especially on the football field. But that’s exactly where Shawnee High School junior Robie Glass found himself on Friday night against Northwestern. With Shawnee trailing 35-34 with 39 seconds remaining, Braves sophomore Drew Mitch — playing quarterback for the first time the entire...
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated

The Springfield Wildcats reached the midway point of the regular season with a second straight dominant performance, blanking Lebanon 28-0 on Friday at Evans Stadium. How does it feel to be 5-0, a feat unparalleled in the 11-year history of the new high school? That was the question quarterback Raheim Moss faced after the game. "It's a blessing...
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee

Wayne quarterback Rashad McKee riddled Northmont’s vaunted defense, throwing five touchdown passes and running for two more in a 49-20 Warriors defeat of the visiting Thunderbolts on Friday night. The midseason Week 5 win snapped Wayne’s (3-2) two-game losing streak and jump-started the Warriors’ season and Division I, Region 3 playoff...
Wright State Raiders: Five questions facing team entering new season
Wright State Raiders: Five questions facing team entering new season

A constant issue for Wright State basketball coach Scott Nagy early last season was getting his players to believe they were as good as he thought they could be. They may have professed confidence, but the results conveyed something else. Nagy’s persistence finally paid off in a mid-December win at Toledo , which was...
More Stories