By Brandon Terlecky
The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team ended the season on a good note despite falling to the University of Oakland in the quarter-finals at Motor City Madness.
The season did not start the way the Penguins wanted, opening with a record of 2-2 coming into the first home game in November.
Finishing the season with a record of 12-20 and 8-10 in the conference, down the stretch, YSU has a lot to look forward to.
Horizon League standout Darius Quisenberry dominated throughout the season and was a three- time Horizon League Freshman of the Week and led the Penguins in scoring.
He ranked 15th in scoring, sixth in assists and eighth in steals. He also set the freshman 3-pointers record with 51 and scoring 431 points.
Another standout who made a huge impact was Garrett Covington. He averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 rebounds a game and could always be found guarding the most difficult player on the opposing team.
YSU had a different vibe this year and toward the end of the season, the women were winning game after game at home. This seemed to bring a lot of encouragement and uplift the men’s team as they went on a six-game win streak.
This season showed a lot of potential with a very young team who can do serious damage in the future.
YSU coach Jerrod Calhoun will be entering his third season in 2019; he is 20-43 with the team and owns a career mark of 144-81.
As far as the tournament goes, the Penguins are just 6-17 since joining the Horizon League in 2001-2002 and only 5-12 in the first round of those games that were played.
It is safe to say the program has a lot to look forward to when it comes to basketball season. The women’s team who finished 22-10, losing only one game at home all season, playing the way they played is definitely something to look forward to.
There was so much talk from the players and the student body about Youngstown possibly becoming a basketball school and with the way things went this year, that just may be the case.