breaking news

Springfield woman killed in murder-suicide receives honorary Wright State degree at graduation

Wright State Raiders: Nagy looking for greater commitment on defense

Wright State coach Scott Nagy has always been passionate about defense, and he has the stats to back up why it’s been such an emphasis.

Northern Kentucky had the No. 1-ranked defense in the Horizon League last year and won the regular-season title. The Raiders were No. 2 and finished second in the league, won the conference tourney and earned an NCAA berth.

But Nagy knows the Raiders won’t reach those heights again if his players don’t become as enthusiastic as he is about that phase of the game.

»RELATED: Cedarville-Wright State preview

“I want them to focus. And right now, I don’t think their focus is very good,” he said. “They have to decide what they want. I can tell them what I want, but it’s what they want because that’s what’s going to happen.

“Hopefully, it’ll sink into their hearts to change. We have a team that can be a good defensive team.”

The Raiders were 12th nationally among 351 Division-I schools in defensive efficiency last season, giving up .929 points per possession. They also were first in the league and 29th in the country in points allowed at 66.4.

Nagy relies more on defensive efficiency to measure his team because the points-per-game stat can be skewed by pace of play.

This year, they’re 224th in points per possession (1.033) and 204th in scoring defense at 74.3. That’s how they can make 25-of-45 three-pointers in two games at the Cancun Challenge, hitting 50 percent overall in the first outing and 54.1 in the second, and go 0-2.

“We had some individually good defenders last year and, quite honestly, we had some bad defenders,” Nagy said. “But as a team, we were pretty good defensively. We had some kids that decided that’s what our identity would be. And we have a lot of the same kids this year.”

The Raiders, who are 3-3 against a difficult schedule so far, actually have had to do without two athletic perimeter defenders from last season.

Everett Winchester transferred to Florida Atlantic, and sophomore Jaylon Hall played only one game before needing season-ending shoulder surgery.

“Both are 6-foot-6, and that makes a big difference when you have big guards,” Nagy said. “Losing Jaylon in particular is where it hurts us the most defensively because he can guard a lot of people. He can cover point guards and 4 men (power forwards). It just makes our matchups tougher.

“But are you going to make excuses or do something to get better at it?”

Another troubling aspect of the defense is how many open looks opponents are getting. They’re shooting 42.4 percent on 3-pointers, negating how well the Raiders are doing from deep, shooting 40.6. Nagy’s goal on 3-pointers this season was 40 percent after hitting 33.7 last season.

Wright State allowed the opposition 23.1 points per game from beyond the arc in 2017-18, but that average has skied to 29.5 this year, which is 320th nationally.

“When teams are shooting 42 percent on you — you could go over to the bench, and they (might not) shoot 42 percent,” Nagy said. “At some point, you have to realize there’s something wrong with what you’re doing.

“It’s bad. I’m not happy about it. But it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what the kids think. When they become bothered by it, that’s when we’ll start to see a change.”

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Mackenzie Taylor was named the Horizon League player of the week Monday after scoring in double figures in all three games in the Challenge in Music City, including a career-high 24 against Hofstra. She earned tourney MVP honors as the Raiders won the Broadway Bracket by going 3-0.

Wright State (4-3) hosts Kent State at 2 pm Sunday.

Reader Comments

Next Up in Sports

Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful
Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful

Some Buckeyes were caught off guard by Urban Meyer’s announcement he will retire from coaching Ohio State after the Rose Bowl. Others not so much. Robert Landers said the Dec. 4 announcement, “was kind of out of nowhere,” and Chris Olave recalled having no idea what was in store when the team gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic...
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville

Springfield High School boys basketball coach Isaiah Carson knew the key to beating rival Centerville was playing disciplined — especially on the defensive end of the floor. The Wildcats had to stay structured in the paint against Centerville 6-foot-9 post player Mo Njie, who stood four inches taller than any player on Springfield’s roster...
HS Scores 12/14: Hall leads Fairmont in win over ‘Boro

Boys Basketball Friday’s Results Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Uhl (A) 19; Burkhardt (M) 16. Ansonia 40, Newton 37, OT: Jamison (N) 11. Arcanum 47, National Trail 41: Meeks (A) 26; Harris (NT) 10. Benjamin Logan 70, Graham 69, OT Butler 58, Troy 50 Catholic Central 68, Cedarville 48 Cin. Christian 70, New Miami 52: Reutener (CC) 15; Duncan (NM) 23...
HS Roundup 12/14: Spears, Ellis push Stivers past Thurgood Marshall

Ivynn Spears sank the go-ahead foul shot with nine seconds to play, giving Stivers a 59-58 victory versus Thurgood Marshall in boys basketball on Friday. Trevon Ellis led the way for Stivers with 16 points and Da’Juan Allen tacked on 14. Anthony McComb paced Thurgood with 18 points. Boys Basketball Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Brady Uhl led the way...
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?

Here’s who we consider the top girls high school basketball teams for the area power rankings. Division I 1. Centerville (5-0): d. Trotwood-Madison 88-34, d. Springfield 70-34; hosts Beavercreek on Sat., hosts Wayne on Mon. 2. Wayne (4-1): d. Wilmington 55-46; at Miamisburg on Sat., at Centerville on Mon., hosts Belmont on Wed. 3. Tecumseh (3-2)...
More Stories