Saturday, December 15, 2012

Five semi-useful things to know: Wright State

1.) Wright State is 6-3 and has alternated losses and wins since opening the season 3-0. Whoohoo! They’re due for a loss! The Raiders have two players averaging in double figures (Cole Darling with 11.8 ppg and Miles Dixon with 10.0 ppg) but have nobody averaging even four rebounds a game, which makes for a good matchup with a Dutchmen squad that has struggled on the boards since the loss of The Guy Who Used To Wear Number 1.

2.) This is the second all-time meeting between Hofstra and Wright State, after that brutal Bracket Buster in February 2011. The Raiders, who play in the Horizon League, have no common opponents with the Flying Dutchmen this year.

3.) It’ll be interesting to see how the Dutchmen look after a full week of practice—their first full week of practice, sans games, since the four knuckleheads were arrested. I’d expect roles to be better defined and perhaps some of the rust to be shaken off by players such as Darren Payen, Jordan Allen, Matt Grogan and even Taran Buie, all of whom were thrust into playing far bigger roles than envisioned prior to the arrests.

4.) Perhaps a week in the gym helped the Dutchmen shake the terrible shooting slump they’ve been in since the arrests, as well. The Dutchmen are shooting 38 percent from the field in their last three games, which includes a blistering 57.4 percent effort in last Saturday’s loss to Long Island University, and an almost incomprehensible 51.3 percent from the free throw line. Their poor performances at the free throw line likely cost the Dutchmen wins against Wagner and LIU.

5.) It will also be interesting to see if the Dutchmen exhibit any hangover from last week’s loss in which they blew a 16-point lead with less than 12 minutes to play. The Dutchmen need a win in the worst way and coming so close to beating an NCAA Tournament-caliber team—one that hasn’t lost at home in two years—could have a lingering effect. Mo Cassara, who already had his hands full trying to keep a decimated team upbeat, surely dug deeper into his bag of motivational tricks this week.

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