By Marc Weems
Four new recruits will be joining the Youngstown State University men’s basketball program for the 2018-19 season after signing National Letters of Intent during the late signing period, Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun announced on Wednesday.
The Penguins inked 6-foot-5 guard Donel Cathcart III from Buffalo, N.Y., 6-foot-3 guard Kendale Hampton from Columbia, S.C., 6-foot-7 forward Antwan Maxwell, Jr. from Savannah, Ga. and 6-foot-9 forward Olamide Pedersen originally from Bronshoj, Denmark.
Cathcart spent the last two seasons with Niagara County Community College. He will have two years of eligibility remaining. Cathcart was named to the NJCAA Division II All-America Second-Team, earned Region III Division II First-Team honors, and averaged 20.6 points per game. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. In his two seasons at NCCC, Cathcart scored 1,068 points and made 144 3-pointers, including 82 in 2017-18.
Hampton, an incoming junior, will have two years of eligibility after playing two seasons at Garden City Community College. He was named to the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference All-League Team after averaging 13.7 points per game and shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range. Last season, he made 81 3-pointers and scored in double figures 25 times.
Maxwell, a junior who spent a year at Charleston Southern University and a year at College of Central Florida, will have two years of eligibility. Last season at CCF, Maxwell averaged 8.4 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. He connected on 45.4 percent of his shots. He played in 28 games and made 14 starts as a freshman at CSU. He scored in double figures three times, including a career-high 15 points against Longwood College.
Pederson, a freshman from Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan., averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game. His size and length will help the Penguins tremendously as they look to improve now.
They join Darius Quisenberry (Huber Heights, Ohio) Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio), Atiba Taylor (Hackensack, N.J.) in the 2018-19 recruiting class.
These moves point to a glaring idea: winning now. Coach Calhoun and his staff understood the task at hand when they came here and believe they can win a lot of games with the group now assembled. With three JUCO guys in the fold, he is sending a message that he wants guys that can help win and play now. A year to wait for guys just isn’t in the cards at the moment.