FAIRBORN — While it was nice to see Wright State show itself so well Thursday night — romping over Central State, 83-55, in the Raiders exhibition opener at the Nutter Center — I’d rather have seen the game be close.
That way the sizeable contingent of CSU fans who showed up at the game would have had something to cheer about. Instead the plug was pulled on the party before it ever got started.
Some five minutes into the game, WSU was up 15-4 and it only got worse from there. The Raiders led by 29 at the intermission and by as many as 38 midway through the second half.
Although CSU did show up with all its cheerleaders in tow and some fans in the stands occasionally held up three big signs that read SHAKE THAT THANG, there really wasn’t much to shake about.
It would have been great to see the two cheering sections go back and forth. No school around here has more animated and vocal backers than the Marauders, Anybody who’s been to Beacom Lewis Gym when CSU hosts its across-the-road rival Wilberforce will attest to that.
Thanks to CSU, Wright State had a crowd that was bigger than most it drew to last season’s games. The official count was 5,137 — which seems a little stretched, but not that bad.
Regardless, this was a good event to help build a bridge between the two Greene County schools. And in the end that’s good for the community.
Of course, so would be a Wright State -Dayton game again — especially in a town that can use all the good-time events it can get now — but you know all the tired, old arguments impeding that one.
Too bad because it would be like CSU vs. Wilberforce — only times 10.
And this would be a good year to see it.
The Dayton Flyers appear to have the best team they’ve had in decades. And from what you could see Thursday night, Wright State — even with seniors Vaughn Duggins (suspended) and John David Gardner (injured) not in uniform — has a very good team that should make some real noise this season.
Senior forward Todd Brown — who had 17 points, Thursday — looks like he’s ready to wear the mantle of the team leader. The Raiders can shoot the ball — they were 10 for 21 from three-point range — and, as is a coach Brad Brownell trademark, they can play some tight defense.
They have a deep bench and while all three newcomers had their moments against the Marauders, I was especially impressed by guard Darian Cartharn, a 6-foot freshman from Canal Winchester. He’s a catch-‘em-napping passer, can shoot and has a little bit of swagger to him.
With the way this WSU team appears capable of playing, I think it will draw plenty more crowds this size and bigger during the season. Thing is, I don’t know if opposing fans will get much more of a chance to SHAKE THAT THANG than did the Marauders mostly-silent masses.Tweet