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Indiana Hoosiers v. Wright State Raiders: quality of competion increases in IU's second game.

Wright State Raiders
Current record: 0-0
2009-10 record:  20-12
2009-10 RPI: 80
2009-10 Sagarin: 77
2009-10 Pomeroy: 65
Pomeroy scouting report
Series:  IU leads 1-0
TV: 7 p.m. tonight, ESPNU
Blog: n/a

After opening the 2010-11 season with one of the weakest teams in Division I, the Hoosiers now face Wright State, from Dayton, Ohio.  The Raiders have one of the better programs in the Horizon League, the conference to which Butler belongs.  Billy Donlon replaces Brad Brownell, who now is the coach at Clemson.  Brownell is an Indiana native who was mentioned as a candidate for the IU job when IU hired Tom Crean.  The only previous meeting between IU and WSU came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1993 at the RCA Dome.  IU was the #1 seed and top-ranked team in the country, and easily took care of the Raiders.  The only think I remember about that game is that it featured a breakaway dunk by Pat Knight, which should tell you all you need to know about the level of competition WSU provided back then.  The program has improved dramatically, although the Raiders' only other NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2007. 

Wright State generally has run a slow-paced offense with excellent three point shooting, and the Raiders take good care of the ball.  Tom Crean has noted that the Raiders are a very physical and tough defensive  team and that he scheduled them for that reason.  Donlon was a Brownell assistant, so presumably there will not be major changes.  The Raiders' leading returning scorer is Vaughn Duggins, who is from Pendleton, Indiana.  Last year, Duggins averaged 14.2 points and shot 39 percent from behind the arc.

This will be an important step.  This is a should win, but certainly a loseable game.  WSU is a good program from a solid conference, a top 100 team in all the computer ratings last year.  The last two IU teams would have been in trouble today.  I won't give up on the season if this goes south, but handling WSU would be progress.