After three semesters on the bench, Devon Wright-Nelson finally will suit up for Augusta State.
The redshirt freshman, who missed five games in the fall due to academic ineligibility, passed his exams earlier this week. He will start at small forward for the Jaguars when they play at 7 tonight at King College in Bristol, Tenn.
“He’s getting on the bus,” Augusta State coach Dip Metress said. “We’re excited to have him. He gives us another guy who can score a little bit. He’s one of our more complete players offensively.”
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Wright-Nelson was brought in last season and was redshirted after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot in Augusta State’s exhibition at Georgia. In that contest, Wright-Nelson scored five points in 11 minutes before the injury.
Augusta State is off to a 2-3 start this season. The Jaguars have lost all three games by a total of six points.
Offense – or lack thereof – has been a major issue. The Jaguars are last in the Peach Belt Conference in scoring, averaging 63.4 points a game on a league-worst 39.5 shooting from the floor. Of the regulars, Tye Beal leads the team with a 45 percent field-goal percentage.
This is where Wright-Nelson comes in. He will replace freshman Devonte Thomas in the starting lineup and alleviate some scoring burden off interior players Harold Doby and Travis Keels. Also, the 6-3 Thomas will be able to come off the bench and play shooting guard, and Wright-Nelson’s addition will allow Metress to juggle other players around during games.
“Hopefully, he’ll provide some size out there,” Metress said.
“He has some strengths offensively. He has the ability to make shots and score in contact.”
With the addition of Wright-Nelson, Metress announced sophomore forward Roman Hill will redshirt this season. Hill had surgery on his knee earlier this fall and has yet to fully recover.
“It hurts us because he’s a good player,” Metress said. “But his knee has just got to get stronger.”