What may have seemed a minor step in 2011 to those on the outside was all part of Wright State women’s basketball coach Mike Bradbury’s master plan.
The Raiders went 1-1 in the low-level Women’s Basketball Invitational in 2011 and again in 2012, but it was a stepping stone.
“I think all that helps and I think it helped build confidence,” Bradbury said. “But it really helped us in recruiting. It helped us get better players each year and that helps the program.”
After appearing in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, Wright State will make its second straight appearance in the WNIT Wednesday at 7, putting a 24-10 record on the line against Michigan (17-13) in Ann Arbor. The Raiders could host round two against the Akron-Bucknell winner between March 19-22.
Wednesday’s tip wraps up a whirlwind few days for the Raiders. The lost to Milwaukee in the Horizon League tournament semifinals on Saturday, then learned their WNIT opponent at 10 p.m. Monday. By 11:30 Bradbury had access to Michigan video and by 10 a.m. Tuesday had a report ready for practice at noon before departing for Ann Arbor.
Bradbury saw in Michigan a team that poses problems.
“They are really efficient offensively,” Bradbury said. “They shoot 40 percent as a team from 3 and they have a dominant 6-foot-5 center. Their offense is as good as any team we faced.
“We are going to have to take something away. We have to take one of those two things away from them and we have to be able to score. But they also have a tendency to give up points.”
The Raiders have a triple threat of their own.
Senior Kim Demmings is averaging 20.4 points per game while Antania Hayes (12.2) and Emily Vogelpohl (11) also are in double figures. Senior Symone Denham, a transfer from Michigan, averages 5.9.
“I’ll tell you one thing, they won’t be scared,” Bradbury said. “We are used to playing these kinds of teams.”
Demmings will be making her third postseason trip in four years for the Raiders. The remaining roster, except for Denham, will be back next year.
“They are ready to play,” Bradbury said. “About 75 percent of the teams in the country would love to be Wright State (Wednesday), but they’re not. They’re at home. We’re excited.
“We know what (the bid) means. We know what it means in our program and we don’t take it for granted. We’re proud and we should be proud. It is definitely not something that we take for granted.”