Player Preview: Dion Wright
Player: Dion Wright, 6-7 Senior Forward
The low down: From sixth man to starter, Wright has truly been worthy of his being named a “Breakout Player of the Year” by Sports Illustrated. He was in the top 12 in the Atlantic 10 in six statistical categories and helped lead the Bonnies to their upset over VCU (and nearly another upset win over Dayton in Brooklyn). A sure fire 2015 starter, if not their best player, the Bonnies are going to count on Wright as a force to be reckoned with in the front court. He nearly averaged a double-double last season and is a key peg in this season’s success. Wright should be a series consideration for pre-season Atlantic 10 First-Team but will likely be a Second Team selection if we had to guess.
Quotable: “Surround yourself with positive people who will support you when it rains, not just when it shines” - Wright, via Twitter
Last Year by the numbers: 35.1 minutes, 13.5 points (11th A10), 54% FG (8th A10), 36% 3PT, 77% FT, 7.0 RPG.
Biggest Strength: Wright is nearly automatic with high percentage shots. His field goal percentage ranked in the top 10 of the conference last year. Finishing around the rim and even some mid-range jumpers is Wright’s go to move…with Wright it’s often not pretty but almost always effective. He will attempt the three, though it is rare. His three-point shooting against Dayton in the A10 Tournament led to a career high in points, so it will be interesting to see if Wright’s will continue his attempt at the long range. If Wright becomes a threat from deep he will morph himself into one of the better players not just in the league, but maybe in the country. Without a doubt his long-range shooting is the storyline to watch with the senior.
Glaring Weakness: The aforementioned three-point shot. Wright is caught in that awkward range where he is a bit too tall to be a pure 4 and too short to be a pure 5. His game is more suited to a center but he would struggle a bit matching up with pure centers on a regular basis. While he excels scoring in the paint, he really struggles from eight to 12 feet. Wright can be deadly if he’s able to move his soft shooting touch around the rim to beyond the arc. If the Dayton game was a one off, highly entertaining show, then Wright will not be as effective as he can be this season.
Best Case: First Team Atlantic 10 guard who scores close to 17-20 points a game on a Bonas team that finishes in the top half of the league. Wright is a major force down low but also is an adequate stretch 4 and gives opposing teams fits. He develops himself into a very solid professional player and makes a lot of money somewhere next year built off this season.
Worst Case: I can’t see a major downgrade in Wright’s ability this season; he’s just developed too much and been too consistent. He has been on the upswing for three seasons now and when called into service in a big way last season, he delivered. However, Bonas will rely on Wright to fill a big man void and it’s a role that Wright could struggle with. He is a known commodity in the A10 now and other teams will focus on him and his production drops which is a place Wright will find challenging.