The margin of victory may not have been the largest, but Wright State turned in one of its most thorough performances three weeks ago in an 80-67 victory at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The Raiders raced out to a 12-2 lead to eventually lead by 23, which at the time was their largest lead in Horizon League play. And that game remains one of only two this season in which Wright State never trailed, with the 98-68 rout of Ohio Valley being the only other.
But coach Scott Nagy and his players know better than to assume a repeat performance is imminent when WSU (18-7, 10-2 HL) plays host to Green Bay (10-16, 5-8) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
All the Raiders need to do is look back to last Thursday’s loss at last-place Cleveland State to be reminded of why it’s not wise to invest in win probabilities.
“We never talk that way, and I don’t think our players think that way,” Nagy said. “They’ve played enough to know that we take nobody lightly. That’s just not the way it works.
“And it would be ridiculous to think we could do that with Green Bay,” he added. “They have very good players.”
While a repeat performance should not be assumed. It likewise should not be dismissed, especially if they Raiders can find a way to get back to starting strong, something they’ve struggled with since the win at Green Bay.
“We were pretty good defensively early in that first game (against Green Bay), and that helped,” Nagy said. “When we’re good early, we play pretty well. You look at the Milwaukee and the Cleveland (State) game, the two losses, and we were bad – really bad – early.
“We worked back into those games,” he added. “But then they had the confidence to finish them off.”
WSU also struggled out of the gate at Youngstown State on Saturday, going down 9-2 before rallying to win by 26.
But the return of freshman forward Everett Winchester should help give the offense an early boost.
Winchester missed the last two games with a concussion, but Nagy said he’s back to 100 percent and expected to resume his usual role, which has seen him average 8.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.7 minutes off the bench.
“He practiced full (Wednesday), so there will be no tapering in,” Nagy said. “All of that was done this week as he did a little more each day. He’s ready to go.”
After Green Bay, the homestand will feature rematches against the two teams which beat the Raiders — Milwaukee and Cleveland State — sandwiched around a contest against a Northern Kentucky team that sits tied with WSU atop the standings.
But Nagy said he isn’t interested in any of that.
“I hate cliches, but it is just one game that we’re focused on and that’s it,” he said. “We don’t talk about anything beyond (Thursday) night. That’s always the way we’ve handled it, and that’s worked for us.”