Posts Tagged ‘Cindy Martin’
One of the best kept secrets in the ranks of NCAA Women’s Basketball got out of the bag this year. Bob Boldon, who would have received multiple offers if he already hasn’t, has decided to accept an offer from Ohio University to coach the Bobcats.
Boldon, who went 39-46 in three seasons with the Penguins, was lauded as the Horizon League Coach of The Year for guiding YSU to a 23-10 season.
Boldon was outstanding at maximizing the talent surrounding Brandi Brown. Everyone knows Brown was good, it was what he was able to get out of the supporting cast that made him a special mentor.
Boldon will be remembered as the coach who revitalized a basketball program rich with tradition but not getting it done in the past ten or so years. He had a very good staff to help him reach goals that seemed unrealistic to many.
It is our loss Penguin fans, this guy was fantastic. The search for a successor will begin immediately.
Good Luck Bob!
In the Winter of 2008, I had to have a hip replacement. The down time I had to endure meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do except watch reruns of Two And A Half Men and a bunch of game shows.
A friend of mine, Ethan Jaynes, who operated a blog called NESW sports, asked me to write a couple of posts. When those stories did well, Jaynes hooked me up with the knowledge I would need to run my own site, Paneech.com.
In the time since, I have made a bunch of good friends and probably a few enemies too.
Fast forward to September of 2012. I am working a 40-hour-a-week job, and still trying to keep up with this website. Sometimes the posts seem scant, but that is because of the time constraints I have to deal with.
On of the biggest events I was lucky enough to cover was the dedication of Dave Grohl Boulevard in Warren. I was interviewing Jen Campbell, the organizer of the event, in a side building as warm-up bands were wailing away outside.
Suddenly, on the third question of the interview, the door opens, and it is Dave Grohl. He looks at us, the only two people in the room, and asks, “Am I early?”
Campbell had to run and gather some folks which left me solo with Grohl, who offered me a Budweiser. We talked about everything from the steel industry to Wedgewood Pizza, to Kurt Cobain, to how often he sneaks back to this area to visit family.
It was the biggest, ‘right place at the right time’, moment in my life.
I have caught some good breaks to gain access. My first real coverage was of the Youngstown Thunder Arena Football team. Those games were a lot of fun and I was able to develop my first player profile interviews while I was there. Thanks to Anthony Farris for a chance.
The next break to fall into my lap was the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Marc Means and Dave Smith, the GM at the time, were instrumental in getting me the trial year of credentials. The Scrappers, now functioning on the watch of Jordan Taylor, are fun because of the themes, the wrestling, the fireworks, and the personalities you meet who deal with baseball as a way of life every day.
Youngstown State University is something I never thought I would want to cover. Too much stuff going on. I wanted to give football a shot, so for the 2009 season, Jon Heacocks’s last, Trevor Parks gave me that chance. Call it good timing because nobody but WFMJ and Pete Mollica cared about the football program which seemed to be spiraling negatively.
I took a real liking to the way that the YSU people do things. There were not too many media people who bet Jerry Slocum would still be around. I got to know Slocum a little better than some and am glad he has found his niche here.
Covering Cindy Martin was tough because when a team goes 0-30, it is hard to ask many questions with positive answers. Bob Boldon and his staff have picked up the slack in a big way and made that program fun.
When Ron Strollo hired Eric Wolford for the 2010 season, he made the best possible choice for the university to rekindle a program known for its strong tradition. Strollo has been fantastic and has seemed to make all of the right moves in the past couple of years.
Wolford is destined for bigger things. I do not know how long he will be here, hopefully until he retires, but he makes no bones about being an SEC guy and by getting all of the good experience as a head coach here, Wolford will make a jump to a D-I school within the next few years.
Kelly Pavlik was getting recognition for beating Jermain Taylor a couple of times when I got to sit with him and chat. Still active and back on the rise, The Ghost has provided some huge moments for this site. Everything from title defenses to a bitter separation with Jack Loew, and no mention of foul play or substance abuse here. No reason to.
Jake Giuriceo seems to be the next thing to emerge as a televised boxer from Youngstown. This kid is so laid back, so spiritual, and so focused, that anyone who talks with him would be hard-pressed not to root for him.
As the website continues to progress, I remain focused on trying to be entertaining and informative without the demise factor. There is enough positive in the Youngstown area to avoid all of the negative.
So to Larry Holmes, the Youngstown Phantoms, 38 Special, Ron Stevens, and Pete Rose. Thanks for the roles you have played here at Paneech.com!
I’ll throw the prediction out there first. The YSU Lady Penguins are going to win 10 games this season. Someone unfamiliar with the programs recent tailspin would scoff at a ten win season. Those who haven’t seen this program celebrate a victory since 2008 understand that a few wins are steps in the right direction.
On a recent visit to a practice, I wondered how much the returning players remembered from last season. New Coach, Bob Boldon, blew his whistle for a quick water break. As the players approached the water dispenser, they went a little out of the way to say hi to me. Big deal? To me, it was a nice gesture, but it proved that if they can remember a sports blogger from last season that they also retained a few memories to fuel and inspire a hard work ethic going into 2010.
Gone are the two boys who had to practice with the team so there would be enough bodies for a five-on-five drill. Gone is Cindy Martin. Gone is the attitude that it just can’t be done.
Enter a new coach, a new attitude, a couple of new recruits, and a high-tech three-point shooting machine. Enter girls who were hurt or had transfer issues. Enter the bus while there is room, because it will be full in a few years.
Rachel Manuel and Kaitlyn March are the two players who graduated. The returning women from last year are Macey Nortey, Kenya Middlebrooks, Boki Dimitrov, Makala Gasparek, Maryum Jenkins, and Brandi Brown. The new faces are Shea Johnson, Kaitlin Rohrs, and Melissa Thompson who missed last year with injuries, and Youngstown native Tieara Jones sat out while meeting academic requirements as a transfer. There are also three incoming freshmen – Liz Hornberger, Heidi Schlegel, and Boardman High graduate Monica Touvelle.
Coach Boldon is a good choice. Talking to him is like talking to someone you have known for a couple of years. After a couple of conversations with him, I applaud Ron Strollo on a solid selection to replace Martin. Boldon is high on the three-point shot. Expect every girl on the roster to be able to chuck up a long ball at any time. There is a lot of motion in Boldon’s Playbook. This is going to be a fun offense to watch once all of the pieces are in place and the players gain confidence in the system.
Can this team win? “We have to change our culture. We have to develop and get better. Nobody wants to win more than the team wants to win. Nobody wants to win more than I want to win”, exclaimed Boldon.
Brandi Brown has been named to the Preseason Horizon League Second Team. Coming off of a freshman season rarely seen at any college, Brown was the only player in the conference to average a double-double. She was robbed of the Horizon League Newcomer of The Year award last season, and handed the runner-up ribbon in a statistical oversight. I’m still not sure if all of the voters were from Detroit or if the award is given to a freshman on one of the best teams. Either way, Brown will vindicate my sentiments with another big year.
Expect a higher-quality and more refined team to win at least ten games this season.
Nothing is easy. Taking over something that never worked right in the first place and trying to fix it is even harder. Bob Boldon has accepted the challenge of reviving a deflated YSU Women’s Basketball program with open arms. In fact, Boldon expects to win, as soon as possible. Hard to believe that the Sophomore girls on this team have never won a game. In fact, going into this season it will be almost two full years since the team’s Juniors can recall what it was like to win. Boldon is refreshing. I was ready to suit up for him after our talk, he will provide motivation and technique that this program has sorely missed.
Paneech: Let’s start out talking about where you have been and what you have picked up to help you become better prepared to be a Division I basketball coach.
Boldon: Lambuth was my second head coaching job. It was good, because it helped me realize all of the things that I did wrong at my first head coaching job. We played in a National Championship game, which was a great experience. My first job was at Monticello, a team that only won one conference game the year before I got there, it was complete rebuilding project. We finished in third place my first year. Every team I ever coached could score, offense comes easy to me, but I realized that I needed to become a better defensive coach.
Paneech: Presently, you have taken on the “Bill Parcells” role of taking a mess and making it happen. Will it work at YSU?
Boldon: I want to be successful, and there are going to be people who say it can’t be done. I have a staff with expectations to be successful. It’s hard to make any real predictions until I get to know the players. I expect to win every game we play. My staff and I have watched almost all of last year’s conference games, and defense is an issue. Offensively, the shooting percentages were horrendous. We are going to be a good three-point shooting team, and that is something that can’t just happen, magically. The players have to take responsibility and games are won on days like today, not on the day of a game.
Paneech: What kind of player will you go out and look for? A three-point specialist, a defensive stopper, a good rebounder? Where is the biggest need at right now?
Boldon: We are looking for shooters and want to improve the offense immediately. We will get better defensively by working hard at it and learning proper positioning, but the shooter is something we want. As far as I know there will be 14 girls here on the first day of school ready to go. Anything less than that number would really be a surprise to me. Shooter is on the top of the list.
Paneech: How demoralizing is it for a player on a team to go 0-30 and can they be turned into winners after that?
Boldon: I think they have embraced the fresh start. They know that this new staff has set forth different expectations, and at least those expectations are coming from a different person, if nothing else. Going through a year like that had to be tough and moving forward I’m sure it is something that none of them want to experience ever again.
Paneech: Have you adjusted to Youngstown yet? Are there things here that you like already?
Boldon: We are here now and we have been ordering in a lot trying to get the house in order, it is a wreck. I keep hearing about how I have to get to the Canfield Fair and how much my kids will enjoy it.
Paneech: Yeah, the Canfield Fair is pretty unique, it is one of the few places you can go pet a pig and be eating a sausage sandwich five minutes later.
Boldon: (laughing) Yeah, that is a little bit ironic I guess. I like the community and the people are very supportive. My staff and I try to go different places and have lunch, it’s been really good so far. The community is really buzzing about the football team and that new staff, and their season comes first, and I am excited as it is one of my favorite sports. The football team at any college set the tone and can get people geared up for the Winter sports.
Paneech: You go through the interview process with Mr. Strollo (above), does he tell you that you have to win and win now? Does he want you to build from the ground up? Or does he want anything better than the last few years to be the band-aid for now?
Boldon: Mr. Strollo showed the same expectations as I did in that we both want to win ball games. There is nobody in this administration who wants to win more than I do, and I say that for my staff as well. They all left jobs to come here and turn this around, and they did not come here to lose. The idea that it is going to take three, four, or even five years is something that we are not going to lean on.
Paneech: Do you ever play those little nightmare scenarios in your head where you are coaching that first game and look around to see about twenty people?
Boldon: Not really. If there is nobody at our first couple of games, I can’t say I blame them for not coming. I’m not in a rush to get to Jacob’s Field these days. After we win a couple of games, I would expect the interest to grow.
One Word Answers
Favorite Beverage: v-8 Splash.
Worst Habit: Biting My Nails.
Favorite Meal of The Day: Lunch, but I like ’em all.
Best Basketball Movie Ever: Hoosiers.
Biggest Phobia: Snakes.
Best Show On Television: The Mentalist.
Favorite NBA Team: The Cavs.
Game You Want To Make An Impression With: Opener vs Pitt.
Favorite Fast Food: Subway.
John Wooden would have had trouble winning a game with seven players dressed. Pat Summitt would have quit midseason. Phil Jackson would have went nuts. Cindy Martin stuck it out.
With two years remaining on her contract, Coach Cindy Martin has resigned as head basketball coach at Youngstown State University. In two seasons, Martin compiled a record of 3 wins and 57 losses, including an obstacle filled 0-30 campaign this year. Beyond the numbers, so many factors worked against Martin in her two years. This year, the numbers were a mess. Having really only two post players made the Lady Penguins weak in the middle, especially when one would go out for a breather, or God forbid, foul trouble.
Martin only had two Seniors, Rachael Manuel and Kaitlyn March. March dressed but was limited because of shin problems, and Manuel has been an improving work in progress since she got here. Many of the players on the team were not even her recruits. Credit her and the staff for finding Brandi Brown, a Horizon League Newcomer of The Year finalist.
It’s a real shame that Martin has opted to go. Those on the inside will tell you that there is nobody you will ever meet more competitive than Coach Martin. Press conference after press conference, she always managed to take something positive and build on it. She never used the numbers disadvantage as a crutch or an excuse. Martin also never said a negative word about Youngstown, her staff, or her players because she believed in all of them.
Director of Athletics, Ron Strollo, said the choice to resign was Martin’s. “We were surprised at Coach Martin’s decision to resign at this time. She accepted a difficult challenge in rebuilding the winning tradition of YSU women’s basketball, and she and her staff worked tirelessly the past two years toward that end. We understand the end results of this past season put their efforts to the test, but a full examination of the extenuating circumstances that led to this year’s outcomes makes those familiar with the situation supportive of the progress she made.”
“I have decided to step down from my position because I feel in my heart it is what’s best for the program at this time,” Martin said. “I want to thank Youngstown State University and the athletic department for the wonderful opportunity. We signed back-to-back recruiting classes that are committed to their successes both on and off the court.”
Martin’s influence was obvious in her players who completed 30 community service projects over the past two years. Academics were also important to the Lady Penguins as the team had a combined 3.29 GPA.
Best of luck to Cindy Martin! She has paved the groundwork for the future of YSU Basketball over the next few years.
Kaitlyn March came into her Senior Day game with only 45 points on the season. Hampered by shin injuries, her playing time was often limited to five minutes per half for a majority of the year. March came out firing a career-high 21 points, and tied the Youngstown State record for threes in a game with seven, but it would not be enough as the Lady Penguins dropped to 0-27 on the season with an 80-62 setback in the final home game of the season. The other Senior, Rachel Manuel, has played hard and improved throughout the season providing valuable minutes on a short-stacked team. The two veterans played in their final home game Saturday and are pictured above with family.
On Saturday, March had 12 points on 4-4 three-point shooting, a career best, in the first twelve minutes of the game. Despite the early heroics, YSU trailed with 7:51 left in the game, 20-18, against a very good Detroit team.
Detroit (15-13, 13-4) surged forward to take a 30-22 lead when Tayler Langham drove and was fouled to complete a three-point play with 4:51 left in the first half. Detroit used a 17-4 run to climb to a 39-22 lead. March nailed another three giving her 15 points in the first half, a career-high. At the half, Detroit held a 41-25 lead.
The difference in the first half was the 20 points that Detroit cashed in off of 13 YSU turnovers.
Detroit pushed the lead to 51-34 with 15:11 left in the game. Yar Shayok beat everyone back to the Titans basket and received a long outlet pass to get the layup. Shayok had eight points, all in the second half.
YSU cut the Detroit lead to 10 at 59-49, with 10:56 left in the game. Kaitlyn March hit a couple more threes, giving her seven for the game and 21 points, March was off the hook. Brandi Brown (pictured) posted her 13th double-double of the season when she yanked down her tenth rebound with 8:57 left in the game. Brown finished the game with 14 rebounds and 19 points.
Regardless of the outcome, Youngstown State showed tremendous heart in this game and played like anything but an 0-27 team.
With 2:09 left in the game, the Penguins were down 73-61. March saved all of her magic for Senior Day. The other Senior, Rachel Manuel deserved props for her tireless efforts as well. Voted “most-improved” player, Manuel has been an obstruction in the paint for opposing teams. Congratulations to both ladies and wishes of success for their futures.
After a 57-38 loss to Wright State on Thursday, Youngstown State Coach Cindy Martin and her staff (pictured), who I still feel will prove worthy in the end, scraped for positives. “Wright State executed their gameplan tonight. I am proud of the effort we had on defense, but we turned the ball over too many times and missed layups, I think we beat ourselves a little”, declared Coach Martin after the loss.
Turnovers plagued Martin’s Penguins, but the points off of those turnovers killed any chance YSU had to end their season-long 26 game skid.
Wright State held a 18-10 lead with 9:07 left in the first half. The Raiders were taking better shots than the Penguins in the early going. The higher percentage shots were mainly layups and short jumpers. Youngstown State, conversely, was unsuccessful in getting the ball to Brandi Brown in the post.
The Raiders upped their margin to ten points at 28-18 with 3:47 left in the first half. Macey Nortey hit a nice baseline jumper to cut into the Raider lead. However, the Penguins committed 13 first-half turnovers. Off of those miscues, Wright State held a 16-0 advantage in points off of turnovers.
With 10:39 left in the game, Kenya Middlebrooks hit a three which cut the Wright State lead to 14, at 44-30. Both teams struggled on offense over the next six minutes. With 4:21 remaining, YSU trailed 49-33.
Wright State, only dressing seven players, lost 6’1″ Molly Fox with just over four minutes left in the game. Boki Dimitrov hit a three to make it 52-36. LaShawna Thomas picked up the slack for Wright State, scoring three consecutive baskets and keeping the margin comfortably in the double-digits for the Raiders.
Youngstown State could only muster one point off of 14 Wright State turnovers. Wright State, on the other hand, finished with 21 points off of 19 YSU errors, the difference in the game.
Wright State 57, YSU 38, for a final as the Penguins dropped to 0-26 and just cant seem to knock the monkey off of their backs.
Saturday will be the last attempt at home as Youngstown State welcomes Detroit, tipoff for that contest is set for 4:35, or a half-hour after the men’s game in the Senior Day doubleheader.
Youngstown State’s Lady Penguins returned home for a matinee against Cleveland State. For the Penguins, it was another chance at ‘the end’ of the streak, aka, the losing streak that has plagued the Penguins since 2009. YSU would have to wait until Thursday for another shot as Cleveland State overwhelmed the Lady Penguins by posting a 68-38 win.
Saturday also served as Youngstown State Alumni Day. Former Lady Penguin standouts from the past were honored at halftime. Current Penguin, Boki Dimitrov, commented on the festivities. “It’s really nice to be around all of the ladies who have played here. I liked meeting them and am happy they came out today.”
Youngstown State hung with the Vikings in the early going as the score was tied at 8-8 with eight minutes elapsed in the first half. However, Cleveland State applied daunting full-court pressure giving the Penguins fits to even get into their half-court offense.
At the half, the Vikings (13-12, 8-6 HL) were comfortably ahead at 33-17. Angel Roque provided a spark off of the bench for the Vikings by connecting on three of four first half three-point shots. The Lady Penguins were paced by Kenya Middlebrooks and Brandi Brown who combined for 13 points and 12 rebounds. Youngstown State only shot 24% from the field in the half.
With 15:26 left in the game, Cleveland State expanded their lead to 25 points, holding a 44-19 lead. Brandi Brown, Youngstown State’s most consistent player all season, posted her twelfth double-double when she yanked down her tenth rebound with 14:21 left. Brown finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Vikings had nine players with anywhere from 6-11 points showing a very well-balanced attack. Angel Roque took top scoring honors with 11 points, all in the first half. Her sister, Jessica Roque finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Kenya Middlebrooks had a nice game for Youngstown State finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds. Only four of the eight Penguins who dressed scored a point.
Cleveland State must have felt like they were in a contest to see how many points they could win by. The Vikings hoisted three-pointers in five consecutive trips up the floor. At least they stopped pressing with a 63-33 lead and 2:56 left in the game. Hopefully, Coach Martin etches some mental notes about things like this so when she has a bench and options, she can return the favor of bullying a team.
After the game, Martin commented on the constant threes and pressure in the second half. “I am not mad at all. It’s a part of the game for their coaches to have players play their game, which is pretty much layups and threes. If I were in that situation, I would want my team to work hard and try to improve, I don’t believe there was any intent to do anything outside of their normal gameplan.”
Youngstown State welcomes Wright State to Beeghly Center on Thursday as the first game of a doubleheader to be followed by the men.
Many ladies who have graced the Beeghly Center Court were on hand Saturday afternoon for a recognition ceremony held at halftime. The alumni also participated in a game before the YSU-Cleveland State contest. Honorary coaches for the game were Matt Lipcsak and Ed DiGregorio. “Coach D ” had the advantage because Lipcsak had about 319 less wins, but in an upset, the unheralded former uber manager pulled out the win in overtime.
Kelsey Gurganus, one of the alumni, commented on the turnout. “It was really cool to see some of the ladies I played with. It was also nice to meet some of the players that were integral in the success of building YSU basketball.”
Velissa Vaughn, who doubles as a MYTV Broadcaster for the women’s games, talked about the future of the program under Coach Martin. “Coach Martin will be fine. Once she recruits a few more players and gets back the players who were recruited for this year who are out, you are going to see a very different team.”
Anne-Marie Martin shared the sentiments of Vaughn. “It’s definitely a rebuilding year. With a new coach in her second year, she really hasn’t coached ‘her own’ team yet. She is doing a great job recruiting and maximizing what she has to work with. I have been to about four games this season and I will continue to follow.”
Even my pal, Matt Lipcsak was part of the honors. Matt was a manager who always did all he could for the benefit of the teams he was affiliated with. “I never played a single minute at Youngstown State, but I honestly did all I could to benefit the program in any way I could while I was here. I feel very privelaged that they consider me a part of the family.”
The alumni gathering and the current roster mingled after the game in the Beeghly Center’s Coaches Court. It was nice to see the current team, coaches and players, fraternizing with the alumni. It has been a tough year and this is one of the nice things that the current Penguins will be able to take away as a positive memory.
It would be unfair to use every old adage in the book to describe how close the YSU Women were to their first victory. Unfortunately for the Lady Penguins, the last couple of possessions were catastrophic and Loyola (11-10, 5-5) escaped Youngstown with a 63-59 triumph in a competitive game that went down to the wire.
Loyola, sky-high, after upsetting nationally ranked Green Bay in their last game ran into a buzzsaw they did not expect, Youngstown State. The Lady Penguins have had a rough go of it this season battling injuries and carrying the unfortunate banner as the only Division-I program without a win. However, YSU looked like anything but a winless and shorthanded team as they gave Loyola everything they could handle.
The YSU Penguins had an 11-10 lead with 11:04 to play in the first half. Kenya Middlebrooks got fouled after she picked the pocket of Loyola’s Shannon Finnegan. The resulting bucket was a nice power move by Brandi Brown. At the 7:17 mark, the Lady Penguins found themselves down 16-15 when Finnegan converted a fastbreak.
Macey Nortey connected from just inside the arc to cut the Ramblers lead to 33-28 at the half. The Penguins had fallen behind by ten, but rallied before the intermission buzzard. Brown, Rachael Manuel and Boki Dimitrov combined to score 21 of YSU’s 28 points. For Loyola, Monica Albano threw in ten first-half points. YSU shot 70% from the free throw line in the half compared to Loyola’s 20%, yet Loyola held the lead.
Youngstown State was playing like a hungry team. With 13:58 left in the game, the Loyola lead which was as high as seven in the second half was trimmed to just two. Manuel was having perhaps her best all-around game. Her pair of free throws tied the contest at 42.
Over the next five minutes, Loyola took an eight point lead and YSU came back to trail only by two at 53-51 with 6:58 left in the game. Nortey had a game-tying bucket at the 6:36 mark and YSU was striving for that elusive first victory. Elyse Vanbogaert hit a couple of shots to give Loyola some breathing space with 4:15 left in the game giving her Ramblers a 59-56 advantage.
YSU tied the game at 59 with 1:40 left in the game when Brandi Brown scored underneath. With 31 seconds left, Vanbogaert connected for her game-high 18th points off of an offensive rebound putting Loyola back on top, 61-59. After a YSU timeout, the Penguins inbounded but could not get off a good shot. YSU was held scoreless over the last 2:32 of the game.
Middlebrooks fouled with 5.5 seconds left in the game to put Maggie McCloskey on the line for a one-and-one. She hit both shots to make it a two-possession lead for the Ramblers.
Rachael Manuel (pictured) finished the game with a double-double for the Penguins. The Senior from Illinois ended the game with twelve points and ten rebounds in her best all-around effort of the season. “The game went well tonight, I thought the flow on our team felt good. Despite the loss, it was a good situation to be in and we will use it as a building block for our game on Saturday [vs UIC]”. Brandi Brown also picked up another double-double for Youngstown State.
After the game, Coach Martin showered her team with praise. “This is much easier to deal with than being blown out by 30. Anytime you can execute in a tight game when you have not been in a tight game all year shows that the ladies had poise and confidence and they executed to a tee. I am extremely proud that they kept their composure.” Kudos to the entire staff to prepare an 0-20 team to come out and fight the way they did.