Basile, who’s a solid defender with his long wingspan, held his own against the Hilltoppers’ All-American candidate, Charles Bassey, a 6-11 sophomore who had 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Bassey — who last year became just the second freshman since 1992 to average 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while shooting 60 percent from the field (NBA superstar Anthony Davis is the other) — is known for his agility. But Basile beat him down the court a couple of times for fastbreak points.
“Obviously, he’s a really talented player. He’s one of the top kids in my class. It was good to compete against him. He’s big and athletic,” Basile said.
“We did a good job of team defense, getting on him when he got the ball in the post.”
Basile is averaging 8.5 points and 5.7 rebounds and is shooting 54.7 percent. And coach Scott Nagy isn’t surprised to see him playing with so much poise.
“He was first-team all-state playing against big schools in Wisconsin,” Nagy said. “He’s played in a lot of big games. I don’t think this is any big deal to him. We’re obviously pleased with the way he’s playing and hope that continues.
“When we get Loudon back, it’ll make us so much better. Not only is (Basile) getting to play, but other guys are getting more playing time because Loudon is out. And it’s going to make our bench way better.”
Elevating Basile means James Manns, a 6-7 third-year sophomore who played sparingly last season, has become the primary post backup. He’s averaged 3.0 points in four games.
“He’s a little undersized in there, but he’ll get more comfortable the more he plays,” Nagy said.
Love is the Raiders’ top rebounder, but the Raiders still beat WKU on the glass, 40-35.
It was a group effort. Jaylon Hall snagged seven and Tanner Holden and Skyelar Potter six each.
“Everyone is increasing what they need to do. We’re starting to go a little more outside (shooting from the perimeter). Bill Wampler is still slashing and finishing inside. We’re just playing really good team basketball,” Basile said.
“But we’re still working it out on the fly. It’s not what the final product will look like. We’re still adjusting.”
Love’s right-elbow injury won’t require surgery, but Nagy didn’t want to reveal many specifics, citing privacy issues.
The burly junior will be out four to six weeks, though. And he’s trying to do what he can while being sidelined, having become a mentor to Basile.
“Loudon has been unbelievable. He’s going through something, but he’s still helping me,” Basile said.
“He just watches the game and tells me something he sees. He always reminds me, ‘Just play hard and don’t worry about anything else.’”
Indiana State at Wright State, 2 p.m., 106.5