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College Basketball: Wright State picked to finish 5th in Horizon

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
By: Doug Harris - Contributing Writer

Wright State basketball coach Scott Nagy doesn’t mind being picked fifth for the second straight year in the Horizon League preseason poll. Like his peers, he looks at the results from the vote of the coaches, media and sports information directors only as something to draw attention to the upcoming season.

But he wasn’t pleased that returnees Justin Mitchell and Grant Benzinger were left off the 10-player all-league teams.

»RELATED: Deeper roster a good feeling for WSU women

»RELATED: Proven scorers, newcomers give WSU men hope

Mitchell, a 6-foot-4 senior from Fort Wayne, Ind., certainly seemed worthy of consideration. He averaged 11.5 points last season and finished second in the league in rebounding (8.3 per game), tied for fourth in assists (4.0), eighth in field-goal percentage (53.4) and 11th in assist-turnover ratio (1.2-1.0).

Benzinger, a 6-3 senior from Cincinnati, was also productive last season with averages of 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds.

“The unfortunate thing is because the coaches don’t do all the voting, there’s other votes that count. I guess, to me, the coaches’ opinion should count more,” Nagy said. “Everybody just looks at the scoring. If you do a lot of scoring, you should be on the all-conference team or whatever.

“Scoring is just a small part. I know from last year, Justin was our most valuable player when you look at all the things he did for us.”

But just like Nagy will shrug off the team voting, he’s hoping his two star players do likewise.

“All you should worry about is being a good player, then all those things will happen,” said Nagy, whose team opens the season Nov. 10 at Loyola (Ill.).

Wright State guard Chelsea Welch was named the women’s preseason player of the year. She’s the first Raider to earn that honor since Kim Demmings in 2014-15.

The senior from Fairmont High School averaged 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists last season.

Teammate Lexi Smith was named to the preseason all-league second team, while Wright State was picked to finish second in the conference, getting four of 25 first place votes. League favorite Green Bay picked up the other 21 votes.

The Wright State women open the season Nov. 10 at Northwestern Ohio.

Oakland was picked to win the men’s title, while Northern Kentucky’s Drew McDonald was named the preseason player of the year.