Men’s basketball set for rematch with Idaho to kick off season
The season opener for the Wright State men’s basketball team will be a rematch with Idaho, who provided of one of the most exciting finishes in recent memory for Raider fans.
Last season, the Raiders defeated the Vandals on buzzer-beating three-point shot in overtime by Julius Mays after Idaho hit a half-court buzzer-beater in regulation to force overtime.
Mays, who led the Raiders with 28 points in that game, transferred to Kentucky for his final season of eligibility. But WSU junior AJ Pacher thinks his squad won’t need a dominant scorer to pull out the victory.
“We don’t need someone to score 28 points to win,” Pacher said. “It’s going to be a more spread-out attack.”
Idaho senior Kyle Barone will be the main focus for WSU on the defensive end, as the 6’10” center went for 21 points and 14 rebounds on the Raiders a season ago. Questions have been raised about whether Barone should be eligible to play after he was arrested in October and arraigned on a DUI charge.
With WSU sophomore Tavares Sledge suspended for violating team rules, the burden of guarding Barone will be on Pacher, who often gets into foul trouble.
“I just need to be smarter and keep my hands of people,” Pacher said. “If you have to give something up, you give something up.”
Both teams are expected to play an up-tempo style, something many Raider fans haven’t seen in years as WSU has traditionally played a more half-court style of play.
“I think we’re way more athletic than last year,” Pacher said. “We’re going to get out and pressure them, pressure their shooters and get out and run.”
The road trip to Idaho will be the longest for the Raiders this year, but Pacher says the three hour flight and two hour drive to Idaho’s campus won’t be a factor.
“You can’t let that affect you,” Pacher said. “I think people are going to be excited to play.”
Tip-off is set for 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, and the radio broadcast of the game can be heard on WBZI 100.3 on the radio, as well www.myclassiccountry.com.