Another long winter weekend is over. We survived the first weekend since August without a real football game, and spring training and March Madness are that much closer.
Should we start with the good news or the bad?
OK, on the positive side: The Wright State Raiders are back alone in first place in the Horizon League after downing preseason favorite Oakland at the Nutter Center on Sunday.
Scott Nagy’s club pretty much controlled this on the whole way with Loudon Love dominating inside again and Mark Hughes and Everett Winchester combining to slow down Kendrick Nunn, Oakland’s high-scoring guard.
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The Golden Grizzlies did WSU a solid Friday night by beating Northern Kentucky.
That put the Raiders back alone in first place in the Horizon League.
They will put that on the line this week against Cleveland State and Youngstown State in a northeastern Ohio swing.
“We’ve already talked about Cleveland State,” Nagy said. “I think it will be the toughest game for us to get ready for all year, to not have a letdown. I don’t care what anybody says, there’s no easy road wins.”
That may be true, but the Raiders already won at Oakland and NKU (The Norse visit the Nutter Center on Feb. 16) to put themselves in the driver’s seat in the conference race.
There’s a long way to go, though.
Wright State is No. 121 in KenPom ratings as the defense continues to climb. The Raiders rank No. 21 in KenPom defensive efficiency…
Did we mention there was bad news?
Oh yeah, the Dayton men’s basketball team lost again.
The Flyers have sunk to No. 143 in KenPom, where the ratings say they can score but not defend.
Anthony Grant’s team seventh in the Atlantic 10 standings and doesn’t play again until Saturday at UMass.
“With nine games left, we feel there’s a lot of season left,” Grant said Saturday. “Our goal again is to try to get one of those top four seeds heading into the (A-10) tournament. We’ve got a week here to figure things out and maybe do things a little differently. We’re on the road again Saturday. We’re going to have to be able to understand what it takes to win on the road. That’s been a problem for us all year. We’ve got to develop a little more toughness.”
I’m going to assume he means mental toughness.
This squad has plenty of talent, but a lack fo experience has translated into a roller-coaster season…
On the bright side, former Flyer Kyle Davis made his NBA G League debut on Friday night.
He scored three points for the Rio Grande Vipers, an affiliate of the Houston Rockets.
Former Flyer Kendall Pollard also played in the G League earlier this season with the Salt Lake City Stars. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13 games. He was waived in December.
Former Flyer Chris Wright has appeared in 12 games for the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 14.1 points and 4.2 rebounds…
Meanwhile, the Flyer women’s basketball team is still riding high.
Senior Jenna Burdette scored 29 points as UD beat Davidson to move to 9-0 in conference play.
That sets up a showdown at UD Arena on Wednesday night with conference co-leader Duquesne…
Looks like Joseph Scates had a pretty good weekend, too.
Meanwhile, teammate Tavion Thomas announced just this morning he is re-opening his recruiting.
Thomas, a three-star running back, committed to Oklahoma last summer but did not sign with the Sooners in December when most of the top recruits in the country locked in their choices.
National Signing Day is next week…
Lastly, congratulations are in order for Kelsey Mitchell.
The former Cincinnati Princeton star became the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer Saturday as the Ohio State women’s basketball beat Michigan State to snap a three-game losing streak.
She’s been a joy to watch since her time with the Vikings.
Now, can she help rally the Buckeyes in the Big Ten race?
After that, attention will turn to whether or not Ohio State can pull off an upset or two and win a spot in the Final Four -- which will be held in Columbus.
If that happens, Mitchell might still have an outside shot at setting the NCAA scoring record, but it would still take a pretty amazing extended hot streak.