Wright State Insider: Recruiting dam breaks for Raiders

  • Doug Harris
  • Contributing Writer
Nov 15, 2017
Wright State University head men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy kneels by the court during their game against Miami University Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Millett Hall in Oxford. The Miami University Redhawks basketball team defeated the Wright State Raiders 73-67 in overtime. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

College basketball and football programs usually see a bump in recruiting from hiring a new coach, but that didn’t happen for Scott Nagy after coming to Wright State.

Since taking over in April 2016, the only bump he experienced was the kind you get from running into a wall.

“We haven’t felt like we’ve been able to gain any momentum in recruiting since we’ve been here. And we’ve been working hard at it,” he said. “But in about a one-week period, everything broke for us. We were turning people away.

“It’s weird how it works. You hit the rock and hit the rock, and it finally broke.”

The Raiders landed four players last week during the early signing period (all are starting their senior seasons). And they beat out some established programs for those prospects.

The top signee may be 6-foot-3 guard Skyelar Potter, a three-star recruit from Bowling Green, Ky., who also took an official visit to Miami. He set Warren Central High School records with 45 points and 10 three-pointers in a game last season, and his highlight video includes a series of acrobatic dunks.

He averaged 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds, and he likely has a high ceiling because he doesn’t turn 17 until August.

“Tremendous shooter. Has a pro stroke. But the most impressive thing to me is that he averaged 12 rebounds a game in high school, having a guard who rebounds like that. He’s very strong and very athletic,” Nagy said.

Malachi Smith, a 6-2 guard at Belleville (Ill.) West High School, had scholarship offers from some Missouri Valley Conference schools. He averaged 12 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals as a junior.

“He’s a big point guard, and we think he’s just coming into his own. We’re really happy about him,” Nagy said.

Grant Basile, a 6-8 forward at Pewaukee (Wis.) High School, averaged 13.6 points and 11.5 rebounds last season and was a unanimous first-team all-conference pick. His father, Mike Basile, is his coach.

“He’s a really, really skilled 4 or 5,” Nagy said, meaning power forward or center. “He passes it and shoots it. … He’s going to play on the perimeter and be hard for 5’s to guard, and he’s going to be hard for 4’s to guard because he can post them up. He’s a good combination for us.”

Jeremiah Davenport, a 6-5 forward, came off the bench last season for Moeller, which went 29-1 and reached the state title game. He had 17 points and seven rebounds in the semifinals against Pickerington Central.

“What we like most about Jeremiah is just his toughness,” Nagy said. “He plays hard on both ends of the floor.”

The Raiders have two current players from Moeller in seniors Grant Benzinger and Trey Stacey.

“If we could get all our kids from Moeller, we’d be happy because they coach a lot like we do and expect the same thing out of their kids,” Nagy said. “I feel like Jeremiah, coming in, will be ahead of everyone because of that.”

Women’s basketball: The Raiders have started the season with two blowout wins, but they have a tough test at Missouri at 8 p.m. Thursday. The Tigers were picked third in the SEC preseason poll, one spot ahead of Tennessee. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Cross-country: The Raiders concluded their season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute, Indiana on Friday. Nathan Dunn had a team-best 71st-place finish for the men, who were 22nd out of 26 teams. Hailey Brumfield came in 105th to lead the women, who were 25th out of 30.