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Scouting Notes: Wright State



Indiana basketball faces Wright State on Thursday.
A deep dive into Wright State and some of the challenges it could give the Indiana basketball program in Thursday's matchup. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Indiana basketball gets back on the court on Thursday night for a matchup with Wright State.

The Raiders are led by head coach Scott Nagy in his eighth year with the program. Last season they were 18-15 and are currently 0-2 this year. Wright State comes in with a very effective offense — by far the best offense Indiana has faced this year. The Raiders are rated 90th overall in KenPom in offensive efficiency with a 106.6 rating. So far this season they are ranked 36th in the country shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and 46th in effective field goal rate (56.9). Defensively, however, is not the strength of the team. The Raiders rate 262nd in KenPom with a 106.3 defensive efficiency rating and 360th overall, allowing opponents to shoot 56.5 percent from the field. Overall, KenPom has Wright State rated 169th.

Here is a deep dive into some of the challenges Wright State could give the Indiana basketball program.

Key Players:

Trey Calvin is the go to player for the Raiders and is one of the best scorers in the entire country. The 6-foot guard is averaging 27.5 points per game, ranked second in the NCAA. The offense revolves around Calvin, with a 31.4 percent usage rate. Calvin is extremely effective with the ball in his hands and has just one turnover in 69 total minutes this season. While he doesn’t have an exceptional first step, he’s extremely shifty with the ball in his hands and is very effective off the ball as a cutter. He shoots 53.8 percent from the field and is 6-of-12 from the three point line through two games. Calvin is a true three-level scorer and despite his size, is a great finisher at the rim and through contact. Indiana won’t be able to limit his touches, but they need to put two bodies on him on every ball screen and force the ball out of his hands as much as possible on ball screen action. He leads the Horizon League in offensive rating (143.7) and is third in NCAA in total points produced. Calvin typically plays at his own pace and is rarely sped up, but look for Xavier Johnson to try to force the issues at times.

In the backcourt with Calvin is another very experienced player in Tanner Holden. The 6-foot-6 wing started his career at Wright State before spending one year at Ohio State. Now, he’s back with the Raiders and picking up where he left off. He’s averaging 15.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. If the ball isn’t in Calvin’s hands, it’s with Holden. He’s a very physical lefty who can create for himself but also does a lot of work in the paint and around the rim with his effort. Holden is also a terrific rebounder — on both ends of the floor. Holden isn’t a major threat from the perimeter, however. He averages 1.1 attempted 3s per game for his career (121 games).

Between Holden and Calvin, the duo has played in 245 games with 180 starts. Indiana needs to be fully prepared to make life difficult on two extremely efficient players.

AJ Braun headlines the front court play. He’s a 6-foot-9 and 220-pounder who is averaging 12.0 points while shooting 70.6 percent from the floor. Braun is strictly a player who will score from 15 feet and in — attempted just two 3s in 63 career games. He’s a versatile forward, however, who can make plays with the ball in his hands. He has the second-highest assist average on the roster and is a very willing passer. He’s more of a fluid player rather than a banger in the paint.

Alongside Braun is 6-foot-8 and 235-pound Brandon Noel. Noel is more versatile on the offensive end with his ability to stretch the floor. He’s a career 39.1 percent three-point shooter on 46 attempts in two seasons. This season he’s averaging 9.0 points per game. Noel is very good moving without the ball. On the block, he’s going to more often times than not always turn over his left shoulder to get to his right hand. His foot work is solid and he’ll use a nice drop step to seal off his defender and shield the ball when going up. Noel has a good first step and utilizes a lot of ball fakes when facing up on the perimeter or short wing. He was the Horizon League Freshman of the Year last season.

Key Tendencies:

What Wright State rolls out on the floor to start is typically the lineup on the floor at all times. The Raiders rank 337th in bench minutes with a nine-man rotation, but nobody playing over 13 minutes a game. Wright State is going to going to run when it has the chance, however. It’s going to go at the pace that Calvin and Holden take them. When it gets into a half court setting, they aren’t going to rush into anything — especially not getting forced into a shot it doesn’t want to take. Wright State is going to play inside-out, with 66.2 percent of its total points coming off of 2s — ranked 14th in the country. On the flip side, Indiana allows just 34.6 percent of total points from 2s — in large part due to its struggles guarding the three. In this one, it won’t necessarily hurt IU. Wright State shoots just 15.5 3s a game, and get just 19 percent of its points (316th) from 3s. Most of the offense is coming off of unassisted possessions, so Indiana’s one-on-one defense will likely need to be rock solid on Thursday.

Defensively, the Raiders are just not very good — plain and simple. They are allowing an effective field goal rate of 63 percent this year — 349th in the country. The two teams are on total opposite ends of the spectrum in two categories, however. Indiana has struggled with turnovers, especially live ball turnovers this year. Wright State is not a team that is going to get steals and get out in transition, with just a 7.1 steal percentage. Indiana comes into Thursday ranked 338th in steal percentage for opposing teams. The Raiders’s defense is just 295th in steal percentage. The other — fouls. Wright State plays — or doesn’t — defense without fouling. Indiana has 38 percent of its points this season from the foul line while Wright State is allowing just 9.8 percent.

Overall, this is an opportunity for the offense to show some life and get into some sort of rhythm. If Indiana struggles with turnover like it has, it won’t be because of terrific defense from Wright State. Look for some double-teams in the post and a lot of open looks for the Hoosiers from three. It’s just a matter if they can finally make some — and more importantly take them.

Projected Starters:

G- Trey Calvin (Senior; 6-0, 165)

Stats: 27.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, 50% 3pt

G- Tanner Holden (Senior; 6-6, 185)

Stats: 15.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg

G- Alex Huibregtse (Junior; 6-3, 190)

Stats: 5.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg

F- Brandon Noel (Sophomore; 6-8, 235)

Stats: 9.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.5 blk, 75% 3pt

F- AJ Braun (Senior; 6-9, 220)

Stats: 12.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg

Key Notes:

  • Trey Calvin ranks 2nd in NCAA in points per game
  • Wright State was picked third in the Horizon League preseason poll
  • The Raiders have won 20+ games in five of the last seven seasons
  • Scott Nagy won at least a share of Horizon League Coach of the Year in three seasons
  • 71.2 percent of the teams total shot attempts come from Trey Calvin and Tanner Holden

SEE ALSO: Kel’el Ware an early bright spot in otherwise dismal offensive start for Indiana basketball

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.