Men’s Basketball Notebook: What Brown did for Green Bay
Green Bay big man Alec Brown was unstoppable Friday for the Phoenix. His 24 points led Green Bay to a 79-69 win over the Raiders.
The Raiders tried various defensive schemes to throw off Brown who shot 8-for-11 from the field.
Brown’s performance helped Green Bay to stay unbeaten in league play.
“We knew it was an important game coming into it. This is going to be huge in the standings down the road,” Brown said. “We knew if we could come in and steal this game, it would be huge for us. We played our hearts out.”
Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle said that Brown did not practice all week with his squad. He suffered an ankle sprain earlier in the week. After Friday’s game, Wardle was thankful to have his 7 feet 1 senior in the paint.
“His team calls him a ‘soldier,’” Wardle said. “He really is. He’s a senior and he looked like a senior. When we needed a big basket he came up with a big play or a big contest on the defensive end. He manned it up because we weren’t sure [if he would play].”
Wright State coach Billy Donlon said that his squad allowed Brown to make too many layups.
“It is one thing when he makes turnarounds, but he can’t get layups,” Donlon said. “Some of that is on us but give him credit, some of that is physicality. Alec Brown is 7 feet but that doesn’t mean his position is on the block with two feet in the lane.”
Friday was the kind of night that Donlon needed all hands on deck to have a chance to win. He had all but one of his crewmembers on board for the matchup against Green Bay.
Kendall Griffin and Matt Vest returned to Friday’s lineup. Vest missed the last two games and Griffin missed the last three.
Griffin played 15 minutes and was scoreless. Vest was in the starting lineup but was held to just two points from the field in 18 minutes of action.
The Raiders were only missing forward JT Yoho who has an injured ankle. He is expected to miss the Raiders’ next two contests.
Playing before a national television audience meant the Raiders will play three games in five days. The Phoenix are in a similar situation playing in three cities in six days.
“Billy and I talked about that and we’ll take a nationally televised game,” Wardle said. “I think our league, these players from both teams need that exposure and let people see how good our league is.”
After playing such a compact schedule, it does not allow for much time for practice. Neither the Raiders nor Phoenix will get a full practice before playing again on Sunday.
“We’ll always take the games, but as coaches, we’ll know how tough of a stretch it is,” Wardle said.
WSU forward Cole Darling said he is happy to put Friday’s game behind him. The Raiders have a 1 p.m. date scheduled with Cleveland State Sunday afternoon.
“Any game, you’ll let it soak in for a couple hours and you have to move on,” Darling said. “You can’t go to bed with this game in your mind because it will ruin your mindset for the next game.”
The Raiders playing just 40 hours after losing for the first time in the Nutter Center was a positive for Darling, but Donlon was on the fence about the quick turnaround.
“The schedule is what it is, we’re going to get up and go to Cleveland,” Donlon said. “There are two sides. There’s let’s watch the tape and get better. There is the other where you go play the game. Right now, the only option is you go up and play the next game. You don’t think about the option not available to you.”