Wright State basketball: Raiders looking to make 3-pointers more of a weapon

FAIRBORN — For all the attention he gives to defense, Wright State coach Scott Nagy probably has been causing opponents even more distress with his offenses.

He gives his players plenty of freedom in his motion system, trusting they can make something happen. His only real requirement is that they pound the ball inside.

“We do run sets and run plays, but it’s mostly to get shots at the basket. We’re not running them to get jump shots, I’ll tell you that,” Nagy said.

But after averaging 80.6, 82.0 and 75.8 points the last three years, the Raiders may have a new look on offense this season.

While Nagy still wants to feed the post — it leads to high-percentage shots, frequent put-backs and regular trips to the foul line — he’s also looking to capitalize more on 3′s.

The Raiders’ most established players are on the perimeter, and Nagy plans to give them more freedom to shoot from long range.

“It’s probably going to be more important this year,” he said of the 3-pointer. “We don’t have quite the inside game. We’re more of a jump-shooting team. It’ll be important that we shoot it well from there.”

The Raiders actually are coming off their worst 3-point shooting season in six years under Nagy, hitting just 33.3%, which was sixth in the Horizon League. But that’s somewhat deceptive.

They were 48 of 182 on 3′s (26.4%) during a dismal 2-7 start but were 185 of 518 (35.1%) the rest of the way.

“My goal would be, as a team, to shoot 40%. That’s a lofty goal. But that’s where I’d like to be,” Nagy said.

Sophomore sub Keaton Norris led the team last season at 38.7%, while senior star Trey Calvin hit 38.0%.

“I talked to all the players about how that needs to be the goal, and if you’re not at that, then you need to take better ones or shoot less,” Nagy said.

Calvin was 12th in the league last season with 1.8 threes per game, while Tim Finke was 15th at 1.6. No one else made the top 25.

But the Raiders figure to have more firepower this season with the return of sophomore Alex Huibregtse and maturation of junior Andrew Welage.

The 6-foot-3 Huibregtse, regarded as the team’s best shooter, played just three games last season before needing back surgery, and the 6-6 Welage, who has a text-book release, picked up valuable experience a year ago and has gained the coach’s trust.

“They’ll both play a lot of minutes for us,” Nagy said. “We didn’t have Alex much last year, but he’s made a pretty good jump. And I thought Andrew had one of the best summers of anybody. They’re both guys we’ll be counting on.”

Though the 3-pointer has never been part of his arsenal, newcomer Amari Davis plans to be active from the arc, too.

He was 0-for-8 in 2019-20 and 23 of 82 (28%) in 2020-21 at Green Bay. He didn’t really need it, though, since he still was the program’s first HL freshman of the year and made the all-league second team the next season.

He was 11 of 45 (24.4%) at Missouri last season.

“I’m shooting it with much better confidence than I did in previous years,” he said.

“It’s all about repetitions and confidence at this point, so I just have to keep on shooting it.”

WEDNESDAY’S GAME

Davidson at Wright State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 980

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