Wright State basketball: Italy trip reinforces Nagy’s belief in backcourt

FAIRBORN — Wright State coach Scott Nagy is pulling for Tanner Holden to get a favorable ruling from the NCAA on his eligibility, of course. Who couldn’t find room for a two-time first-team All-Horizon League pick?

But as Nagy sees it, the Raiders’ fortunes won’t hinge on whether the star wing can play this season or has to sit out a year.

They return four of five starters and every impactful sub. And they’re overflowing with talent on the perimeter.

First-team all-league guard Trey Calvin is back for a fifth year, and Andrew Welage (47.7% from 3) and Alex Huibregste (39.3) caused opponents fits last season with their defense-stretching abilities.

They performed so well that they blew past Amari Davis on the depth chart. The former all-league pick from Trotwood-Madison has transferred to Tampa.

“We’re loaded, loaded, loaded with good players at the 1, 2 and 3 spots,” Nagy said.

Keaton Norris got starting experience at guard last season. And redshirt freshmen Drey Carter, who has grown to 6-foot-9, and 6-4 Logan Woods are ready to make some noise.

“It’s tight,” Nagy said of the competition. “If Tanner is eligible, it’ll be even tighter.

“We have a lot of good guards. They’re all very good. Even our freshmen are very good.

“It’s a good problem to have. I’d rather have that problem than the other.”

The Raiders also picked up perimeter help in transfer Bo Myers.

The 6-6 grad student played 111 career games at Division-II Malone. He scored 1,739 points and averaged 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds last season, shooting 40.3% from 3.

If Holden plays this season, the Raiders may be the only Division-I team in the nation with three 1,500-point scorers: Myers, Holden (1,578) and Calvin (1,532).

Asked how the newcomer looked on the Italy trip, Nagy said: “He played good. He’s probably going to have to play some 4 (power forward) for us — he and Andrew Welage — when we play small.”

That’s the main concern for Nagy — one that even the 6-6 Holden can’t address.

Forward Brandon Noel, the league freshman of the year last season, and center A.J. Braun, a former all-freshman team pick, are back as starters. But the Raiders are painfully thin in the frontcourt.

“Our biggest challenge by far is going to be depth at the 4 and 5 spot,” the eighth-year coach said.

“The most important thing is that Brandon and A.J. stay healthy. If they can, we’re going to be in a good spot. If they don’t, it’s going to be a bit of a problem for us.”

One player who Nagy knows he can count on is the 6-1 Calvin. He was second in the league in scoring with a 20.3 average last season and finished in the top 10 in assists (3.7), steals (1.3), field-goal percentage (.492) and free-throw shooting (.883).

“Going through it for a fifth time, there’s a challenge for Trey to just not get bored, honestly —  it’s the same thing, same thing, same thing, your mind can get bored” Nagy said.

“He needs to feel challenged — and I think he does because our young guards are pretty good. He’s in a good spot. And as the season gets closer, he’ll get even more locked in.”

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