Nagy: Love looking at pros, but hasn’t made final decision

Wright State center Loudon Love scores against Milwaukee forward Tafari Simms during a Horizon League quarterfinal at the Nutter Center in Fairborn Mar. 2, 2021. Wright State lost 94-92. E.L. Hubbard/CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Wright State center Loudon Love scores against Milwaukee forward Tafari Simms during a Horizon League quarterfinal at the Nutter Center in Fairborn Mar. 2, 2021. Wright State lost 94-92. E.L. Hubbard/CONTRIBUTED

FAIRBORN — Wright State coach Scott Nagy doesn’t know yet whether he’ll have Loudon Love back this season. He just knows the two-time Horizon League Player of the Year is keeping his options open.

Though Love played in 2020-21 as a fifth-year senior, averaging a team-high 16.6 points and 10.1 rebounds, the NCAA granted all athletes a free year of eligibility because of the pandemic, meaning the 6-8, 255-pound center could return to help the Raiders pursue a fourth-straight conference crown.

ExploreWSU adding transfer with local roots

But while fans would love to see him suit up again — and Nagy would relish having the offense revolve once more around the program’s all-time leading rebounder and third-leading scorer — Love is likely good enough to earn six figures as a professional overseas.

“I think if he found the right place, he would go,” Nagy said. “He’s trying to pursue that, but he’s maintained his eligibility, so he has that option.

“For me, the way I work, I just think he’s going to go. That’s how I operate, so, if he comes back, it’s a good thing. If he doesn’t, we’re prepared for it.”

The four-year starter reached career highs last season in rebounds, field-goal percentage (56.5), free-throw shooting (67.0) and assists and blocks per game (1.9 and 1.3, respectively).

He led the Raiders to an 18-6 record and 16-4 league mark, a program high for HL wins.

But the season ended on a sour note. Heavily favored to win the conference tourney and earn an NCAA bid, the Raiders were upset in the first round at home by eighth-seeded Milwaukee.

“We got the majority of our year in. Had we not, he probably would’ve come back and been committed to that. But having played 24 games, he got his four years in,” Nagy said.

“He didn’t love how it finished, but he had a pretty good career, if this is it for him. He’s helped us a ton. If (turning pro) is what he wants, we’re going to try to help him with that. If things don’t materialize like he’s hoping, there’s the option to come back.

“But I think he’s moving forward, like, ‘This (pro career) is what I’m pursuing.’”

Even if Love goes, the Raiders will have plenty of star power again.

Forwards Tanner Holden, a first-team all-league pick, and Grant Basile, a second-team selection, are both capable of carrying the offensive load. And fellow starters Tim Finke, who made the conference’s all-defensive team, and Trey Calvin, one of the league’s top point guards, are thriving in Nagy’s system, too.

The Raiders also picked up a grad transfer this week who has extensive Division-I experience.

Riley Voss, a 6-6, 220-pound forward, started 15 games as a junior for Cornell in 2019-20, averaging 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds while going 19 of 54 on 3′s.

The Ivy League cancelled its basketball season in 2020-21.

“We think he’s a good fit because of the way he plays. He’s really a point forward,” Nagy said.

The Cincinnati Moeller product once had a 14-point, seven-rebound and five-assist game for Cornell.

“He’s a really good passer and a good fit for our motion offense,” Nagy said. “The kind of young man he is and how smart he is, he fits our team really well.”

ONE-TIME TRANSFER: Nagy is leery of an NCAA rule passed last week that gives athletes a chance to transfer once without sitting out a year.

College basketball already had a glut of players moving to new locales with roughly 1,000 transfers at the D-I level in 2020.

“I would prefer that it’d be MORE difficult to transfer,” Nagy said. “I understand the NCAA’s concerns and lawsuits. And it’s easy for a coach to say that, and then some (other) university comes along and pays him three times as much, and he leaves. So where’s the commitment in that?

“But I’m not convinced the environment right now is really good for young men, having them bouncing around and becoming a player for hire, versus going somewhere and being part of the community and part of the family.”

Nagy is concerned about knee-jerk decisions that players may later regret.

“I look at our seniors that have been here four or five years and then go through their Senior Days — how great it is for them and how much appreciation the fans have for them,” he said. “That’s just a way different feel than a guy who has been there one or two years.”

The Raiders have landed all-league players via transfer under Nagy like Cole Gentry and Bill Wampler. Finke also started his career elsewhere.

“When you look at them, it probably was a good move. That’s why you can’t say the same thing applies in every situation. But, in general, it’s not a good thing,” Nagy said.

He believes players may miss out on life lessons by not persevering.

“I think it allows young men to get out of difficult situations by just leaving instead of working their way through things” he said. “We’re not helping them grow up.”

About the Author