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The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

November 13, 2009 at 5:07 AM

Video: Scouting Wright State

Two fun facts about Wright State:
— This is the first game between Wright State and Washingotn.
— One of the Raiders most notable alumni is Vitaly Potapenko, who played 10 years in the NBA including a four-year stint with the Sonics.
Overview:
— Without two of their best players (Vaughn Duggins and John David Gardner) for parts of the season, Wright State went 20-13 last season, including 12-6 in conference. It’s the third straight season the Raiders, from Dayton, OH, compiled at least 20 wins and they last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2007. Wright State finished fourth in the Horizon League behind Butler, Green Bay and Cleveland State.
— Wright State returns four starters and it’s picked to finish second this season behind Butler. Two Raiders players (Todd Brown and Duggins) were chosen preseason first team all-league.
— Senior guard Todd Brown scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Raiders to an 83-55 victory against Central State in their only exhibition.
— Coach Brad Brownell has a veteran team that doesn’t have a freshman or sophomore in the rotation. Brownell uses a big three-guard lineup and traditionally has the best defensive teams in the Horizon League. Last season opponents averaged 57.5 points per game and shot .383 percent from the field.
— Duggins will miss the first three games due to a suspension and Gardner is out for about a month because of a hip injury.
— Player to Watch: Brown is a three-point threat who led Wright State with 11.7 points per game. He shot .399 from the field and .398 on three-pointers. He also averages 4.9 rebounds.

Starting lineup

F – Ronnie Thomas, 6-9, 240, Sr., 11.7 ppg.
F – Cory Cooperwood, 6-7, 225, Sr., 8.7
G – Brown, 6-5, 210, Sr., 11.7
G – Troy Tabler, 6-3, 185, Jr., 5.9
G – N’Gai Evans, 6-2, 175, Jr., 6.4
VIDEO: UW Assistant Paul Fortier scouts Wright State.


Here’s a conversation with Wright State beat writer Mark Katz of the Dayton Daily News:


(How is Wright State approaching this opener?) “I think they approach every game the same. This is a team that they think they can beat. They’ve played ranked teams before. They haven’t always been successful and last year they certainly weren’t, but they had some injuries last year and they have some injuries this year that’s going to hurt them for this particular game. But I don’t think they’re afraid of Washington at all.”

(When was the last time WSU beat a ranked team?)
“I believe the last time they beat a ranked team was Butler two years ago. Last year they played Butler three times and they were ranked each time and almost beat them the last time. And then they went to Wake Forest and lost by 13 and that was without Vaughn Duggins and luckily for Washington Vaughn Duggins won’t be playing tomorrow either and neither will John David Gardner one of their best guards. This is an extremely veteran team and as we’ve learned here over the years when you have a lot of juniors and seniors, which this team has, sometimes that can beat better players who are freshmen and sophomores.
(What happened with Gardner?) “Vaughn Duggins was not the best athlete on the team, but probably the best player on the team. He was all-league as a sophomore. He was all-newcomer as a freshman. And last year right before his fourth game he broke the ring finger on his shooting hand. He played one more game and he though he could play with it and it never healed enough for him to play so he sat out the rest of the season. The guy that filled in for him who has a long history of injuries is John David Gardner. He might be the best player on the team for knowing how to play and just being terrific. He really saved their season. He’s coming off multiple foot injuries and concussions. Late in the year he hurt his hip and he having a similar surgery to Alex Rodriguez and he was lost for the last 10 games of the season. The team survived without him, but it wasn’t as good. This year they thought he would be fine, but he needed to have another minor surgery on the hip so he won’t be ready until late December. If those two guys were in the lineup, I would think that they would really give Washington a pretty good run for it. Without them in the lineup, I’m not so sure that they could. Washington is a very talented team and Wright State doesn’t play teams like that very often.
(So who steps up without Duggins and Gardner?) “Since they were out so long, their backups played a lot. So you have N’Gai Evans whose a skinny 6-1 point guard. He’s a junior and he’s had a lot more playing experience then he otherwise would have had. And then you’ve got Troy Tabler, who is Pat Tabler’s son. Pat played in the Major Leagues for several years. Troy is a three-point specialist. And they’ll fill in very well. And they won’t make a lot of mistakes. I think where they’ll probably fall down a little bit is I’m guessing Washington is just going to be a lot more athletic.”
AND FINALLY, SOME FRIDAY LINKS:
— Here’s our preview story about the UW-Wright State game focusing on the Huskies’ mindset going into the AIA Classic.
Bob Condotta talked to Seattle U. freshman Charles “Chuck” Garcia, who had been a UW recruit until the school denied him admission into school.
— The Oregonian takes a look at Portland State, Washington’s opponent on Sunday.

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