Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Slocum’
Before you get to read about who scored what, or how many blocks Damian Eargle had, or how many threes Blake Allen had, or what magic Kendrick Perry whipped up – a pat on the back goes to YSU Coach Jerry Slocum.
Three years ago when this Penguins program was bubbling under, Slocum’s head was called for by several. For him to have a second consecutive winning season – albeit minus his starting lineup for half of the season- says a lot about where the program has advanced to in three years.
Slocum and staff put yet another exclamation point on a fantastic season with a thrilling tournament run that ended to Canisius. The Golden Griffins overcame a 20-point second half deficit to overtake YSU and end their season, 84-82.
“This is a very disappointing loss”, said Slocum. ”We didn’t take care of the ball and they got 15 points on the defensive side. It is not how we wanted this season to end.”
The Golden Griffins entered the game ranked third in the country for three-point field goals made per game at 9.2. The Penguins made 9 three-pointers in the first half. Credit Slocum for cutting the perimeter with a nifty zone which held the normally high-powered Canisius offense to 28 first half points.
In the first half, Allen and Eargle combined to score 12 of YSU’s first thirteen points. But the storyline of the first twenty minutes was YSU’s defense setting up the offense. The normally explosive Golden Griffins were more than just held in check. Canisius could only muster 15.4 % from three while the Penguins knocked down 9-16 long balls (56.4%) to take 45-28 led to intermission.
Allen, who poured in 27 points for YSU, led the quick start and finished the half with 16 points. Eargle, Perry, and Kamren Belin all added eight points each. Canisius got seven from Jordan Heath.
The second half started much like the first half ended. YSU was drilling threes and had a commanding 53-33 lead at the 18:02 mark. The twenty point lead turned into a two-point edge over the next seven minutes. Canisius used a 18-0 run to get right back into the game and the score was 53-51 with 11:08 remaining. D J Cole made a free throw to break the drought and Belin nailed a three with 9:37 to play and YSU ahead 57-54.
Canisius tied the game at 60 on a Alshwan Hymes three with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Eargle and Allen started it and seemed poised to finish it. Allen hit his seventh three of the game and Eargle hit a pair of free throws that staked YSU to a 69-64 advantage with 4:15 left in the game.
Canisius would not go away quietly. They came back from 20 to tie the game and this time they were only down seven and cut the YSU lead to 69-66 with 3:41 left to play. Bill Baron then hit a three to tie the game again.
YSU held a 71-70 lead when Perry drove in from the right for an easy deuce that made it 73-70. Baron again struck for three as the Golden Griffins had a possession in which they got to take three shots from long range.
With the crowd standing, Canisius held the ball for the last shot. Baron dribbled at center but when the Golden Griffins attempted their approach to end it, Belin poked the ball out of bounds. With 0.9 seconds left, Canisius inbounded but could not get a shot off.
In the overtime, Perry got things rolling with a three. Canisius retaliated with a layup to cut the lead to one and then had a chance to nab the lead. Perry was fouled after garnering a rebound. The junior forward nailed both with 3:45 left to put YSU back up by three. Another three tied the game at 3:18.
One of the Heath brothers, Jordan, hit the first of two and then his Canisius teammates got yet another offensive rebound. The Penguins would dodge a bullet as Hymes attempted a three that went over the backboard to give YSU the ball. Perry gave the Penguins the lead at 80-79 with 1:15 left to play.
With just under a minute to play, YSU missed a three and Canisius went back to work. Baron was fouled and hit both free throws to make it an 82-80 lead for the visitors. YSU took a timeout with 36.7 seconds to play.
With Eargle seemingly trapped at the top of the key, he spun and made a drive to the hoop while being fouled. The shot fell, Eargle went to the line, and YSU was in a dogfight. Eargle missed the charity toss setting up Canisius for the last possession.
Baron, who ended up with 30 points, cranked up for another three and what looked like a clean block was whistled a foul with 2.1 seconds left. Barron made two of three free throws to give the Golden Griffins an 84-82 lead. YSU could only muster a Perry desperation heave and the game would end.
“This is the most enjoyable season I have had since I got to Youngstown”, said Slocum. ”They are a great bunch and were all in, all year. It is sad that it ended this way for them.”
The Youngstown State men’s basketball team will host Canisius in the second round of the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, Saturday, March 23, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
Ticket prices will remain the same as the first round: $10 for reserved, $7 for general admission, YSU students are free with a current and valid ID. Tickets go on sale at 2 p.m. at the YSU ticket office and will be on sale at the YSU women’s basketball WNIT game at the Beeghly Center.
Penguin Club members and season-ticket holder have until 5 p.m. Friday to renew their tickets at the YSU ticket office. The ticket office will be open on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins (18-15) won the first postseason tournament game in school history by defeating Oakland, 99-87, on March 19 to advance to the second round. Canisius (19-13) moved on by knocking off Elon, 59-53, on March 20.
Youngstown State set a school single-game record with 18 three-pointers against Oakland to secure its 18th win of the season, the most since 2000-01. Junior Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 31 points, and senior Blake Allen tied a career high with 27 points to become the 35th YSU player to score 1,000 career points.
This is just the fourth meeting between the Penguins and Golden Griffins in a series that dates back to 1941. Canisius won all three previous games, the last one a 71-59 at the Beeghly Center on Nov. 26, 2006.
Canisius, who has recorded a 14-win improvement from 2011-12, finished fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with an 11-7 record in and its 19 wins are the most since the 2000-01 season. The Griffs’ 11 conference victories were the most since the 1998-99 campaign.
Damian Eargle is unique in so many ways. He will leave a legacy of statistics behind, including becoming the all-time leader in blocked shots in Horizon League history. More than that, Eargle will leave a hollow void in the charisma of Youngstown State Athletics. It is refreshing to watch a student athlete truly enjoy what he is doing on the court. His friendly demeanor is not a gimmick either because his personality has been top shelf since he came back home to play basketball at Youngstown State.
Paneech: You might be the happiest Division I basketball player ever. Does Coach Slocum ever give you an earful for smiling in games or practices?
Eargle: All the time. I try to stay positive and would like to think I made coach happy with my smile. It definitely gets me into some trouble, but not that much. I’m smiling because I love playing basketball, I love the game. You will not always get calls, especially when you start complaining, so I always try to be friendly with the officials.
Paneech: What about when coach stomps his feet and goes on a tirade with an official at a game, how hard is it for you not to smile and be yourself?
Eargle: (laughs) I get busted all the time…. all the time. Coach Slocum seems to have gotten used to it, and it is not really that big of a deal anymore. He knows that the smile is a genuine reflection of my personality. The whole coaching staff is used to it. When we are having a bad day at practice, I do my best to cheer everyone up.
Paneech: On a more serious note, six young people from your hometown of Warren recently tragically passed away in an automobile accident. Did you have any ties to the victims or know any of the families?
Eargle: I did not know any of the victims. Warren is a small community with a family setting. Our hearts go out to all of them. You probably hear a lot of bad things about Warren, but the citizens of that community are surely going to support those families.
Paneech: To be the all-time leader in any Horizon League category must be an honor. Does it enhance your value to get to the next level?
Eargle: It was an honor to break both the Horizon League career record and the Horizon League Tournament record for blocks. It is a good thing to have on your resume. I believe it may give me an opportunity to play at the next level.
Paneech: Is there any one blocked shot that you had that may be your best ever?
Eargle: It would have to be when I blocked Stephen Curry my freshman year. He threw up a floater and I came out of nowhere to get it. I was headhunting because I wanted to get him so bad. It felt so good even though he ended up with like 33 points in that game.
Paneech: You have had to adapt and learn to play with a protective mask (below) on your face in the last few weeks. What is different?
Eargle: It gets sweaty under there and sometimes the sweat gets into my eyes. I also sometimes have a hard time looking up. On the positive side, it helps me be more aggressive, I am more open to contact because it does protect. It was hard at first, but I have gotten used to it. Since I started wearing it, my shooting percentage and rebounds have gone up, and I don’t know why. When I feel comfortable enough, I will take it off. I will never know when, but someday it will stay off.
Paneech: How big of a deal is it that YSU has finally earned the right to play in a postseason tournament?
Eargle: It is huge for the program. It is the first time in the history of YSU that a men’s basketball team will be playing in a postseason tournament. We are excited about it and even though we sacrificed our entire Spring Break to practice, we all welcome that trade, to play in that tournament. I probably would have been sitting in my room or chilling at home, so I am much happier playing basketball.
Paneech: Who is your favorite NBA player and why?
Eargle: Penny Hardaway was my favorite player ever. He was a 6’6″ guard and that is what made me want to dribble. He and Shaq were my idols back in the day when they played for the Orlando Magic. I remember the commercials with Little Penny, stuff like that made me admire him. He was an amazing player and I wish he was still playing.
Paneech: I have watched you shoot free throws in practice and you make 19 of 20. Then you get to a game and you miss one, does it screw your head up?
Eargle: It has a snowball effect, I’m telling you! I can hit them regularly in practice. Today, I think I hit 30 of 35. It just gets mental. I do practice them and they really are mental. You can hit a pair and it gets easier, but when you miss that first one you think, ‘man, what am I doing wrong here?’
Paneech: I love Coach Slocum’s emotional prowess, but from where I sit at home games I see two things when you shoot a free throw – you at the line and him in the same line of sight, staring at the floor unable to watch.
Eargle: I can’t look that way when I am at the line. I think the assistant coaches tell him what happens. If I look that way, I might just miss, so I don’t even go there.
Paneech: I respect the direction that Coach Slocum has this program going. In any way, do you feel that maybe with the all-time leader in conference history in blocked shots, the all-time school leader in threes with Blake, and a first team offensive / defensive selection with KP that this team underachieved this year?
Eargle: We wanted to do better, but we did take a big step up and doing things never before done here at YSU. We made some history, and we are comfortable with where we are at right now.
One Word Answers
Favorite Cereal: Trix
Fast Food: Pizza Hut. I get a P-Zone and a chicken alfredo family sized side and Mountain Dew.
Favorite Drink After Practice: Water
Alternate Sport You Would Play: Football, Tight End
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad and Walking Dead
Song On ipod No One Would Expect: Work To Do – Average White Band
Who Wins NCAA Tournament? This year it is so random that I wouldn’t be surprised if Valpo won. I will say Syracuse.
What Happens Next? Camps, If not the NBA, Overseas. If not overseas, I will work at a corrections facility in Elkton. My college experience has taught me a lot about networking, it isn’t always what you know, but rather who you know. I toured prisons, I’m fine with it. I have tough skin.
Tough skin well hidden by a big smile. Thanks Damian for your accomplishments at Youngstown State. Many people are glad you came home to play.
The last time that Youngstown State University won a game in the State of Indiana was in January of 2001. That is multiple consecutive losses to Butler, Valpo, the Pacers, heck, anyone who would let them play. All told, it had been 28 games since the Penguins pulled out a “W” in the Hoosier State.
On Friday, the streak was extended to 29, as YSU mounted a furious rally but never got all the way back in falling to Wright State, 66-59. “We battled back, but couldn’t finish”, said Jerry Slocum. ”I thought we outplayed them in the second half, and I think they outplayed us in the first.
“We had enough stops down the stretch but missed a couple of open threes and a layup, and you just can’t win when you do not convert those chances.”
Youngstown State raced out to a 7-2 lead, but found themselves trailing 19-12 with 8:05 left to play in the first half. Kendrick Perry entered the contest with 12:29 left in the half, but had little effect on the game, as he retook a seat with 8:05 left to play. He would reenter the game again before half.
The Penguins found themselves digging a big hole early as they trailed 21-12 with 6:47 left. To this point in the game, 27.8% from the field, and a couple of shot clock violations were not helping.
Reggie Arceneaux and Miles Dixon combined for more points (15) at this point of the game than YSU had for a total (14). Consequently, at the half, Wright State had a commanding 33-19 lead.
In the second half, YSU tried to make a game of it. After fouling JT Yoho on a successful Raiders three-pointer and made free throw, Perry nailed a three, got a defensive rebound, and then hit a free throw to bring it back to ten at 43-33 with 13:59 to play.
Damian Eargle did all he could on defense (above). His 302nd career block, most all-time in the Horizon League, set a record for having nine blocks in two games, a tournament record.
Bobby Hain cut the Wright State lead to six on an old-fashioned three-point play. The Hain points made it 52-46, but Arceneaux nailed another three to push the lead back to nine.
Eargle hit a free throw with 3:36 left to cut the Wright State lead to 56-53. YSU had come almost all the way back. Arceneaux, again, sucked the momentum out of the Penguins with another three to boost the lead back to six.
With 49.8, Perry was fouled. He hit the second free throw to make it 61-57, and the Penguins used a full timeout. Off of the timeout, Wright State started pecking from the free throw line and YSU could get no closer.
YSU’s season was a success. The seventeen wins completed a string of two consecutive sixteen-plus win seasons for Slocum. Few teams would have been able to withstand the adversity that this group did down the stretch.
Friday’s tournament game was really the first time the ‘Guins saw Eargle and Perry on the floor at the same time.
“I don’t feel like we had a timing issue”, said Eargle. ”Me and KP have been playing together for three years and I don’t think it was timing at all.”
Belin notched 20 points and Eargle added 13 points to go with his six rebounds and two blocks. Perry, who seemed ineffective in the first half, got his rhythm and finished with eleven points.
Wright State extended the season nobody expected them to have with the win and will face Detroit on Saturday.
“Give credit to Youngstown State”, said Raiders Coach, Billy Donnan. ”We feel fortunate to come away with this win and we will have our hands full with Detroit tomorrow.”
D. J. Cole has seen his role expand greatly over the season. Cole and his mates faced a tough task of playing without Kendrick Perry. The Penguins rode Cole down the stretch, resulting in a game-winning bucket that gave YSU a 62-60 opening round Horizon League Tournament victory.
The win was the 17th of the season for YSU. That was the first time a Penguins team has collected 17 wins in a season since 2001.
“I’m really proud of our guys”, said Jerry Slocum. ”Coming off of our worst effort of the year against Wright State, this was a tremendous game of character. I thought it was Damain’s [Eargle] most solid performance of the year.”
YSU did the most they could with what they had to work with. In the first half, the Penguins bench was outscored 10-0, but the real story was the poor handling of the ball. YSU only had five turnovers on the stat sheet, but several times the offense was disrupted by a dropped ball, forcing the offense to reset with little time on the shot clock.
YSU got eight first half points from Kamren Belin, and seven from senior Blake Allen. Loyola’s Christian Thomas poured in 12 points to lead the way. Second team All-Horizon pick Ben Averkamp was minimized, only notching eight. Averkamp has had big games against the Penguins here at the Beeghly Center in his career.
The Penguins held as big as an eight point lead in the first half, but eventually fell into a 29-29 tie at the intermission.
The absence of Kendrick Perry (above) was obvious. The Penguins missed the junior in perimeter defense and. of course, lacked that ‘spark’ on offense that Perry has provided the last two seasons. Granted, Shawn Amiker played good quality minutes, maybe his best game of the season, but the chemistry goes awry when your go-to guy is watching.
“We thought Kendrick was getting better”, said Slocum. ”He is not going to play at 80%, I assure you of that. He has tried to practice and is favoring the injury and I am just not going to take that chance. He better really be ready.”
The Ramblers jumped out to a 40-34 lead in the second half. At the 12:08 mark, Amiker was the recipient of a nice pass from Eargle. On the next possession, D. J. Cole drove through Loyola defenders to kiss a soft shot off of the glass for a deuce that tied the game at 43 apiece. Cole would again drive to the hoop and convert, this time giving the Penguins a 45-43 lead with 10:58 left to play.
Baskets by Allen and Belin found YSU ahead 50-45 with 7:42 left to play in the game.
Allen buried a three from the corner with 5:52 left to play to give the Penguins an eight point lead. With 3:22 left in the game, the Penguins again coughed away the big lead once again finding themselves ahead only by 3, at 59-56. With 56.9 seconds left, Averkamp spotted up for a three. Eargle stepped up to challenge the shot, to which Averkamp drew contact and got to shoot three free throws. Averkamp sunk two of the three and YSU held a one point lead.
With 24.1 seconds left, Allen penetrated and hit Amiker, who was fouled. Amiker hit one of his two free throws to make it 60-58 in favor of YSU.
Devon Turk drew contact on a drive with 12.7 seconds left. Turk buried both to tie the game. YSU inbounded and Cole saw daylight and went for it nailing the game winner.
“On a play like that, it goes from my mouth to their ears to their feet”. said Slocum. ”Spmetimes the plays are not executed when you go through all of that, but we did it.”
YSU strived for consistency throughout this game. There were flashes of brilliance and moments of mutiny strung together over the 40 minutes of basketball played, really by both teams.
The Penguins got 15 points from Allen, 15 more from Belin, 10 from Eargle, and a sneaky 13 from Cole. Eargle had 7 blocked shots to go with 8 rebounds. The seven blocked shots were one shy of a Horizon League Tournament game record. Amiker played very well, contributing 9 points and grabbing 9 boards.
“Shawn gives us energy”, commented Slocum. ”He gives us some size at the three spot that you normally would not get when playing three guards.”
Loyola got 16 from Thomas, and Jordan Hicks scored 12. Averkamp managed 14, but credit the Penguins for keeping him out of the picture with stingy low-post defense.
The Penguins head to Valparaiso to face the #3 seed, Wright State on Thursday.
Youngstown State junior, Kendrick Perry, was named to both the offensive and defensive First-Team Horizon League Teams on Monday.
Perry and Ray McCallum of Detroit were pretty much neck-in-neck for conference Player of The Year Award,won by McCallum. The junior guard for Detroit had a great finish, while Perry has been out of action for almost two weeks with a gimpy knee, making the choice much easier for those who voted.
Perry was named All-Horizon League First-Team after finishing second in the league in scoring with 16.9 points per game. He also led the league in steals for the second straight season with 2.0 steals per contest and was named to the All-Defensive Team with Eargle. Perry also ranked fifth in free-throw percentage (.848) and sixth in assists per game (4.1 apg).
Perry, who became the 33rd YSU player to score 1,000 career points, ranks 19th at Youngstown State in scoring with 1,247 points.
In league play, Perry was second in scoring at 17.6 points per game, first in steals at 2.4 per game, fourth in free-throw percentage at .849 and sixth in rebounding at 5.7 per game. He is just the second Youngstown State player to earn consecutive first-team honors. The last player to do so was Quin Humphrey in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Youngstown State junior, Kamren Belin, was named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team on Monday. Belin really flourished into a big role in his inaugural stint with YSU.
Belin averaged 12.3 points per game against league opponents. He ranked third among league newcomers in scoring in league contests; third in 3-point field-goal percentage at .446; fifth in 3-pointers made with 37 and fifth in 3-pointers made per game with 2.3.
Belin is the first YSU player to be named to the league’s All-Newcomer Team since Eargle in 2010-11.
Youngstown State senior, Damian Eargle, was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of The Year on Monday. If blocking shots were an art, Eargle would be Van Gogh.
Eargle led the league with 3.1 blocks per game overall and 2.9 blocks per Horizon League game. He averaged 11.8 points per game this season, also ranked fifth with 6.2 rebounds per game and fourth with 4.4 defensive rebounds per game.
Eargle, the 34th 1,000-point scorer in school history, led the Horizon League in blocks in 2011-12 with 116 and is the league’s record holder for most blocks in a career with 293. Eargle was also a 2012 Horizon League All-Defensive Team selection.
If Youngstown State is going to make a run in the Horizon League Tournament, which starts Tuesday, they will need to provide a much better effort than they did Saturday at the Nutter Center. Wright State, picked by the “experts” to finish in the basement of the conference, improved their third place standing with a 72-45 conquest of YSU.
“This is a tough way to go into the playoffs.”, said Jerry Slocum. ”This was probably our worst effort of the year,”
In the first half, Wright State raced out to an early double-digit lead with the help of 14 Youngstown State turnovers leading to 19 Wright State points. The Penguins could only muster a 30% shooting percentage in the half, while the Raiders shot 61%, resulting in a 39-19 lead for WSU. The Penguins finished the game with 16 turnovers.
Damian Eargle managed to score seven of the Penguins 19 points in the half. The Raiders got nine points from Kurt Hess‘s high school friend, Matt Vest. In fact, Hess, Torrian Pace, and Chris Elkins (below) made the trip to Dayton on Friday. Hess grew up in the area.
In the second half, D. J. Cole penetrated and dumped a feed to Eargle, who snared an easy basket. The hoop made the score 47-28 with a shade over 14 minutes left to play in the game. Four minutes later, the Penguins found themselves down 21, trailing 51-30. Wright State was getting two or three chances each offensive possession with good offensive rebounding.
Kamren Belin hit threes on consecutive possessions to make it 59-38, but Wright State quickly regained control of things, capped by J. T. Yoho‘s bucket in the paint with 3:46 left to make it 64-39.
For YSU, Eargle finished the game with 11 points to lead the team. Allen had 5 with 5 rebounds to lead the team, and Belin ended up with 8 points.
This year’s conference Cinderella, Wright State (19-11, 10-6), got 14 points from Jerran Young and 11 from Vest in the win. As a team, the Raiders compiled 12 steals.
All the Penguins (16-14, 7-9) can do now is focus on Tuesday. They cannot mope or dwell because the next loss means “season over” for the team. It also means the careers of Allen and Eargle will end.
Kendrick Perry shot around with the team during the pregame but was again held out. His status is unchanged and he will be reevaluated again before a decision is made about being in the Penguin lineup on Tuesday
Show support for the Penguins Tuesday and get to the Beeghly Center for their first-round playoff game.
After clinching a 2013 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Tournament First-Round home game on Tuesday, March 5, at the Beeghly Center, the Youngstown State Athletics Department has announced ticket prices for the postseason game.
Tipoff will be at 7:05 p.m. and the game will be on 570-AM WKBN, the Horizon League Network and tape-delayed on MyValleySports.
Reserved tickets are $10 and general admission tickets are $7. Group general admission tickets will $4. Tickets for Youngstown State students are free with a current and valid ID.
Penguin Club members and season-ticket holders have until the end of business, Monday, March 4, to purchase their tickets before they are released to the general public.
The opponent for the Penguins has not been determined.
For more information, please call the Youngstown State Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1YSU (1978).