Ernsthausen’s smarts propelling Wright State defense

Wright State’s Parker Ernsthausen defends against Green Bay on Saturday night in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. HORIZON LEAGUE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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Wright State’s Parker Ernsthausen defends against Green Bay on Saturday night in the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. HORIZON LEAGUE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Athleticism and instincts are certainly great qualities to look for in a good defensive player, but intelligence can be every bit as important.

That's what makes Wright State junior forward Parker Ernsthausen such a big reason why the Raiders rank 10th in country in defensive efficiency, and why they are in the NCAA tournament with a date against Tennessee at 12:40 p.m. Thursday.

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“Just being a good athlete and having instincts doesn’t make you a great defender,” WSU coach Scott Nagy said. “Because Parker’s not a great athlete. I think he’d be the first to tell you that. What sets him apart defensively is he’s very intelligent, and he’s the best communicator we have on defense.

“A guy can see things happening, but the next level is communicating, whether you be involved in the play or just see what’s going on, you need to communicate to somebody else,” Nagy added.

The 6-foot-11 Ernsthausen graduated with a double major in accounting and finance in December and has started his Master’s program in accounting.

“Everyone else will be on Twitter, and I’ll be on Yahoo! Finance,” Ernsthausen said. “I do a little stock trading on the side. I’m really into that stuff.

“I’m pretty invested in Twitter stock,” he continued. “Obviously all you guys in the media use it. It’s a platform for everybody. The President of the United States uses it. Not great. But it’s a part of everyone’s life now. I’m also into index funds like the Dow, and I also own some Square, the platform small businesses use to swipe credit cards and things like that. It’s fun for me, and it gives me a distraction from basketball. It’s just another passion I have.”

His ultimate goal is to be a CEO, and that take-charge persona is on display when WSU is on defense.

“I think the coaches do a great job with scouting, and then I can kind of visualize this is what we saw on film and see the play ahead of time,” Ernsthausen said. “That’s my goal, to try to help the other guys out, too, especially the guards because they have so much to think about with ball screens and things like that.”

“Talking is a big thing on the floor,” he added. “Coach Nagy is on me all the time about making sure I’m talking and helping the other guys out. Because those guys have so many skills and athleticism, if I can provide the background for them it helps us all.”