Wright State basketball: Nagy frustrated team isn’t showing more fight

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

Credit: Joseph R. Craven

FAIRBORN — Wright State hasn’t played even one-third of its games yet. And while a 4-5 record isn’t what anyone connected with the program expected, there’s still plenty of time to get the season pointed in the right direction.

But the lack of consistency has been unsettling to coach Scott Nagy. And he doesn’t believe the Raiders can reach their goals unless they address a glaring deficiency.

“We need more emotional stability,” he said.

That may not be a term that’s normally applied to a basketball team, and it’s not easily measured. But Nagy knows it when he sees it.

“When things aren’t going well, it’s being able to respond — be in the huddle and talk to each other and encourage each other,” he said.

“We’re all over the map right now, we really are. We had such high expectations, and the start hasn’t gone the way we want. Some of it is, when we get in tough stretches in games, we don’t react very well. That’s where we have to grow up.”

The Raiders have one of the most seasoned teams in the country with three three-year starters and a two-year starter.

Yet, bringing a mature approach to games still seems to be an issue.

That was evident in a lackluster 81-62 win Thursday over Bethel University, a middling NAIA team.

“We have all these older kids. In my mind, that’s what I’m trying to figure out — how that’s not been better to this point,” Nagy said.

The Raiders have a cohesive group, and the players are unselfish.

And though they don’t appear to have many of vocal leaders, Nagy says that shouldn’t matter.

“I think we have a lot of quiet kids, but I don’t think that has anything to do with how easily we get discouraged and don’t have more fight to us,” he said.

He’s quick to point out that teams tend to be a reflection of their coach, and if that’s a shortcoming, he has to figure out how to get through to his players.

But what was particularly galling was having to struggle to put Bethel away. Though the Raiders were never in danger of losing, they didn’t take control until the final six minutes.

“All we did was stand around. We post up too much — in bad spots. Anybody can catch a ball in the post at 15 feet. We’re just taking the path of least resistance,” he said.

“We’re just catching the ball instead of actually working to catch it deeper so they can’t double-team you. You catch the ball at 15 feet and put the ball on the floor, there’s people all over you.

“We’re just not very physical offensively. The least derogatory term I can use is we’re soft. We just are.”

That was Nagy’s complaint after a loss at Davidson last week, which had him questioning his team’s toughness.

“I’m not talking about being dirty. I’m talking about being more physical setting screens, not slipping out of screens but actually hitting somebody and taking the air out of their body,” he said.

“That’s what I’m looking for. But again, I’m the one coaching them, and here we are eight or nine games into this, and this is some of the stuff we need to get changed.”


Western Kentucky at Wright State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 101.5, 1410

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