Wright State Raiders

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Bracketology: Kentucky returns to top line

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Kentucky began its bracket journey last October as the projected No. 1 seed in the South Region.  As March nears, the Wildcats return to the top line, holding the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.  For context, UK has lost just twice since the start of 2019, by a combined four points.

Duke continues as the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia and Gonzaga.  Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State and Michigan remain in the top-seed discussion.  All eight have a lot at stake these next three weeks.

The cutline is equally compelling.  Will some early contenders make late runs to regain a look?  Will teams like Texas, Minnesota, and Ohio State hold on?  Will this be the year we see an at-large bid or two granted to deserving mid-majors?  The Madness is about to begin.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 25, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
EAST REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. NORFOLK ST
WEST REGION PRAIRIE VIEW vs. RIDER

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                           
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Ole Miss 8) St. John’s
9) Oklahoma 9) TCU
Salt Lake City San Jose
5) Iowa 5) Maryland
12) Temple / Alabama 12) BELMONT
4) Kansas 4) KANSAS STATE
13) OLD DOMINION 13) VERMONT
Jacksonville Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Virginia Tech
11) Arizona State 11) Texas
3) LSU 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbia
7) BUFFALO 7) Villanova
10) VCU 10) Ohio State
2) Michigan 2) Tennessee
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) WRIGHT STATE
MIDWEST – Kansas City WEST – Anaheim
Columbus Salt Lake City
1) KENTUCKY 1) GONZAGA
16) BUCKNELL 16) PR VIEW / RIDER
8) Baylor 8) WOFFORD
9) Syracuse 9) Auburn
San Jose Tulsa
5) Florida State 5) NEVADA
12) UCF / Utah State 12) LIPSCOMB
4) Wisconsin 4) Texas Tech
13) UC-IRVINE 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Hartford Tulsa
6) Iowa State 6) Mississippi State
11) Minnesota 11) Seton Hall
3) MARQUETTE 3) HOUSTON
14) HOFSTRA 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Jacksonville Des Moines
7) Cincinnati 7) WASHINGTON
10) Florida 10) NC State
2) North Carolina 2) MICHIGAN STATE
15) RADFORD 15) MONTANA

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Texas Temple Butler Dayton
Minnesota Alabama Clemson UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State UCF Georgetown Davidson
Seton Hall Utah State Furman Murray State

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Gonzaga, and Kentucky

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas

SEC (8): KENTUCKY, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): MARQUETTE, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Sam Houston State (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Concussions end Wright State senior guard’s college career

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Wednesday night Wright State lost for the fourth time in their last five games, falling 84-76 in overtime at Oakland. Billy Donlon’s team also took a hit to its depth in that defeat, with senior guard Kendall Griffin suffering a concussion during the second half. It was announced by Donlon on Friday that Griffin’s college career has come to an end as a result of multiple concussions.

Griffin, who started five of the eight games he played in this season, suffered two concussions this season and a total of five in the last 18 months. The 6-foot-4 Griffin averaged 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game for the Raiders, who are 11-11 overall and 3-5 in Horizon League play.

“Under the circumstances, (his spirits) are as good as they can be,” Donlon said. “He is a mature young man. When he came back, he knew one more and it was over. He came back and came to grips with, there is a good possibility (of sustaining another concussion) because of the way he plays.”

Griffin suffered the first concussion in Wright State’s 73-70 season-opening win over Belmont and did not return to action until the team’s game at Green Bay January 5.

Freshman forward Roderick Davis, who played 22 minutes in the team’s loss at Milwaukee January 20 (a game Griffin left after just two minutes over fears that he’d suffered a concussion then), is one player who could see an increase in minutes moving forward. Davis played 37 minutes against Oakland, accounting for 17 points and seven rebounds.

Late Night Snacks: George Washington throttles DePaul

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Wright State 79, Belmont 71

Two teams capable of contending in their respective conferences met in Nashville, with the Raiders winning by eight thanks in part to their shooting from beyond the arc. Billy Donlon’s Raiders made ten of their 15 three-pointers on the night, with Reggie Arceneaux, Grant Benzinger and JT Yoho hitting three apiece. Yoho finished with 16 points to lead the way for Wright State, which also beat Belmont 73-70 on November 14 in Dayton.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. George Washington 81, DePaul 68

The Blue Demons entered Thursday’s game in the nation’s capital having won four straight, but they struggled on both ends of the floor against Mike Lonergan’s Colonials. DePaul committed 19 turnovers, and on the other end George Washington managed to shoot 57 percent from the field. Patricio Garino scored 19 points to lead the way for George Washington, with Joe McDonald and Kevin Larsen adding 18 apiece.

2. Missouri 78, Elon 73

After leading by 19 points at the half the Tigers had to hang on in the end, with the Phoenix pulling to within one in the game’s final minutes. The good news for Kim Anderson was that his team shot well from the foul line late, thus avoiding what would have been a very disappointing defeat. Keith Shamburger and Johnathan Williams III scored 16 apiece to lead the way for Missouri, with Elon reserve guard Luke Eddy leading all scorers with 27.

3. Eastern Washington 81, San Francisco 76

Jim Hayford’s Eagles, to this point in the season, have looked like the best team in the Big Sky and their win at San Francisco only strengthens that argument. Ognjen Miljkovic scored 20 points and Tyler Harvey added 19 for Eastern Washington, and as a team the Eagles shot 12-for-25 from three. Kruize Pinkins led the way for San Francisco with a career-high 30 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

STARRED

1. Jay Harris (UIC)

Harris scored 32 points in the Flames’ 71-60 win over UCF.

2. Dennis Clifford (Boston College) 

Clifford tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals in BC’s 85-74 win over Maine.

3. Kruize Pinkins (San Francisco) 

Pinkins scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Dons’ 81-76 loss to Eastern Washington.

STRUGGLED

1. Binghamton

Bearcats other than Dusan Perisic (7-for-14, 16 points) combined to shoot 8-for-29 from the field, and as a team they finished with more turnovers (18) than made field goals (15) in a 65-44 loss at Colgate.

2. Tommy Hamilton IV (DePaul) 

Hamilton shot 1-for-6 from the field, scoring four points and grabbing six rebounds in the Blue Demons’ 81-68 loss at George Washington.

NOTABLES

  • Garrett Covington scored 27 points to lead Western Illinois to a 78-75 win over Idaho.
  • Evan Bailey contributed 11 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench to help lead the College of Charleston to a 50-47 win over South Carolina State.
  • Johnny Dee and Christopher Anderson combined to score 39 points in San Diego’s 79-65 win at UCSB.

2014-15 Season Preview: Can Green Bay take the next step, represent the Horizon League in the Tournament?

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source: AP
Keifer Sykes (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Today, we are rolling out our Horizon League preview.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The Horizon League drew most of its attention from the college basketball general public in 2013-14 for regular-season champion Green Bay’s early exit from the league’s conference tournament. Considered by many to be the heavy favorite to make the 2014 NCAA Tournament after a 14-2 regular season mark in the conference, the Phoenix ultimately fell short in the semifinals as some analysts used the Green Bay loss — and subsequent NIT appearance — as an opportunity to blast the conference tournament method of NCAA Tournament selection.

While Green Bay was one of the better mid-major teams in the country during the regular season last year, they fell to Milwaukee at home in the tournament. But with four returning starters, the Phoenix are favored to win the league this season.

Even with the departure of senior center Alec Brown, who was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, head coach Brian Wardle still returns Horizon League Player of the Year favorite in senior point guard Keifer Sykes as well as forward Jordan Fouse,who might be the league’s best defensive player. Green Bay will miss the skill level of Brown on the interior, but they might actually have more interior depth this season as 6-foot-9 senior and double-figure scorer Greg Mays returns and Wardle recruited a few big bodies to bolster the rotation of big men that he can use.

Challenging Green Bay this season will Cleveland State, who has multiple all-league candidates, including senior point guard Charlie Lee, junior big man Anton Grady and junior guard Trey Lewis. Senior forward Marlin Mason acts as a stretch four and 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore Aaron Scales can play this season and gives the Vikings another big body on the interior.

The most intriguing team in the Horizon League this year could be Valparaiso, who returns 6-foot-10 rim protector Vashill Fernandez along with three talented sophomores — point guard Lexus Williams, forward Alec Peters and forward Jubril Adekoya — and Charlotte transfer E. Victor Nickerson. Bryce Drew’s ballclub went a surpring 9-7 in the league last season despite starting Adekoya, Peters and Williams as true freshmen.

Billy Donlon loses five of the top six scorers from a Wright State team that fell short in the conference tournament finals a season ago, but the Raiders return 5-foot-9 senior point guard Reggie Arceneaux along with 6-foot-6 sophomore J.T. Yoho and guard Crishawn Hopkins. Wright State had 10 players average double-figure minutes last season, so expect Donlon to go to his seven-man recruiting class early and often for depth.

Defending conference tournament champion Milwaukee will not represent the Horizon League again in the NCAA Tournament. This isn’t a bold prediction, but a truth, as the Panthers are ineligible for postseason for low APR scores. But three starters still return for Milwaukee, led by senior point guard Steve McWhorter and junior big man Matt Tiby and Northern Illinois transfer Akeem Springs should add some scoring punch on the wing.

Detroit has the pieces to surprise in the Horizon this season as senior wing Juwan Howard Jr., returns after a breakout junior season. If the son of the former Fab Five member can get some help from Colorado transfer Chris Jenkins or 6-foot-8 sophomore Paris Bass, the Titans could compete sooner than later. Bass, in particular, will be one to watch after sitting out last season.

Oakland now faces life in the post Travis Bader-era, as the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers has graduated and moved on. The Golden Grizzlies will now have to rely on the inside-outside combination of senior big man Corey Petros and returning Horizon League Freshman of the Year Kahlil Fielder at point guard. St. John’s transfer Max Hooper, who shot 40 percent from three-point range in his final season in New York, will get a shot at replacing the prolific Bader.

PRESEASON HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Keifer Sykes, Green Bay

One of the most dynamic point guards in the country, the 5-foot-11 senior puts up numbers all over the floor and usually rises to the occasion when Green Bay has a big game. A freak athlete with outstanding leaping ability and quickness, Sykes is a difference-maker on both ends of the floor and averaged 20.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in his junior season. The only thing missing on the resume for the senior is a trip to the NCAA Tournament and he’s focused on leading four returning starters to the Big Dance in 2014-15.

THE REST OF THE PRESEASON ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE TEAM:

  • Juwan Howard Jr., Detroit – The son of former NBA veteran and Fab Five member Juwan Howard, the 6-foot-5 senior had a breakout junior season, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and also leading the Titans in assists.
  • Corey Petros, Oakland – A 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior, Petros is a load to handle on the interior and averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season on 57 percent field goal shooting.
  • Alec Peters, Valparaiso – The 6-foot-9 sophomore had a huge impact as a freshman, averaging 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on some impressive shooting splits for a player his size (49% FG, 77% FT, 38% 3PT).
  • Trey Lewis, Cleveland State – The Vikings have multiple all-league candidates but Lewis averaged 13.6 points per game as a sophomore and if the 6-foot-3 guard improves his shooting percentages, that number could climb greatly.

ONE TWITTER FEED TO FOLLOW: @billpotter_HL

PREDICTED FINISH

1. Green Bay
2. Cleveland State
3. Valparaiso
4. Wright State
5. Milwaukee
6. Detroit
7. Oakland
8. Youngstown State
9. UIC

Wright State gets three new uniforms (PHOTO)

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Wright State has some new uniforms in play for the 2014-15 season as the school unveiled them in a release late this week.

The Raiders will get three new color jerseys in three unique colors, white, green and yellow and they released a photo on the school’s athletics website:

source:
(Wright State Athletics)

I think I’m in favor of all three jerseys and they look pretty sharp overall.

What are your thoughts on the Wright State uniforms?

Wright State parts ways with a veteran forward

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Wright State will have to move on without a veteran forward as 6-foot-9 senior Tavares Sledge was released from the men’s basketball team for a violation of team rules.

Sledge appeared in 86 games over three seasons for Wright State and averaged 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Raiders. The school announced the move in an official release.

“Today, Tavares Sledge was released from the Wright State men’s basketball team for violation of team rules. We will not have any further comment,” the school said in the release.

Trouble has found the forward before. Sledge was suspended for 14 games last season after an altercation with his girlfriend in Sept. 2013. The incident led to Sledge receiving 19 days in jail

Wright State also suspended Sledge for two games for violating team rules in 2012.

With the Raiders losing five of their six leading scorers from last season — all seniors — this is a tough loss for Billy Donlon, a coach who prefers a deep bench.

Sledge could have also been a senior leader on the floor for a team that includes a recruiting class of seven new players this season.