Wright State’s Nagy: Canceling season-opening trip to Illinois the right call

Wright State University head men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy walks on to the court before their game against Miami University Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Millett Hall in Oxford. The Miami University Redhawks basketball team defeated the Wright State Raiders 73-67 in overtime. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Wright State University head men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy walks on to the court before their game against Miami University Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Millett Hall in Oxford. The Miami University Redhawks basketball team defeated the Wright State Raiders 73-67 in overtime. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Raiders women’s team cancels its first two games of season

Wright State had hoped to open the season in a four-team event hosted by Illinois next week, but the trip has been called off because the Raiders don’t have enough available players.

Coach Scott Nagy said one team member tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, and Horizon League protocols require that he sit out at least 10 days, while those who haven’t yet had the virus also have to quarantine for two weeks.

That left the Raiders with six players — not enough to face Ohio University, Illinois and North Carolina A&T on consecutive days.

“You can’t play three games in three days with six guys,” said Nagy, who declined to name the player getting the most recent positive result. “They’d like to do it, and there’s a macho side that wants to do it. But it wouldn’t be good for them in the long run. You’ve got a greater chance of injury because you’d be so exhausted.

“They’re very disappointed. It’s hard to talk about those things because I have to make the final call. I wanted to do it, but after talking to my coaches and trainers and (athletic director Bob Grant), you’ve just got to make a better decision.”

Wright State also announced the women’s team is canceling its home opener against Toledo on Wednesday and a road trip to Butler on Nov. 29 because of a shortage of available players due to the virus.

The men’s next game is Dec. 2 at home against Marshall. They’re also hosting Miami in early December.

The Raiders will start league play with two games at Detroit on Dec. 19 and 20. But Nagy would like to get more non-league games in because the minimum required for NCAA tourney consideration is 13.

“Right now, unless we can get some things pushed back, we have Marshall on the 2nd. We’d have six players who can go full, and this player who was sick, he’d be in the ‘return protocol.’ He can play, but you’d have to limit his minutes,” Nagy said.

The Illinois event was set to be a homecoming for Nagy, who once was an assistant with the Illini. Newcomer Tim Finke, a sophomore transfer, also grew up near the school.

“The hardest thing was telling the players today. You could just see it in their faces,” Nagy said. “A guy like Tim, who’s from Champaign and his brother played at Illinois, he was excited to go over there. Now, there’s nothing.”

Wright State assistant Clint Sargent, who is in charge of putting together the non-league schedule, is busy working the phones.

But getting opponents to agree to a game isn’t the only hurdle.

“It’s not just, ‘Can these teams play?’ It’s, ‘Can you get referees?’” Nagy said. “Referees have to be tested for at least a week before they can ref a game. It’s not like you can just add a game and say, ‘Oh, we’ve got it.’ You’ve got to get referees to the game.

“We’re just trying to figure it out. The guys who are healthy want to play. And we need to get 13 games in. The next game we have, if we have six players, we’re going to play it.”

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