|Off Reb Rate
|Off Reb Rate
Only in the depths of division I college basketball purgatory do you find statements like these:
"Our three returners have all had great off seasons," Head Coach Jerry Slocum said.
With six freshmen, four juco transfers, and a division-one transfer, Youngstown's roster is almost entirely new but almost entirely the same in that they are terrible, a thousand ways terrible. The Penguins won two games in Horizon League play last year and this season figures to offer more of the same. If they have one thing going for them, it's that they've managed to avoid scheduling a bunch of power conference schools. NC State is the only one they'll play all year.
Offensively, their profile hasn't changed much despite the roster turnover. The only real difference is a stylistic one--like USC Upstate, they've upped their three-point attempts significantly. Also like Upstate, it's doing absolutely nothing for them.
Kendrick Perry (6-0, 160) -- It's tough out there for true freshman point guards, and Perry is likely to run into trouble against what is easily the best team Youngstown has played all season. But he's been a bright spot for the Penguins this season, an effective shooter with a limited workload. The assist rate is solid, and he won't be shy about shooting from outside.
Devonte Maymon (6-2, 185) -- The nice thing about the new faces on this team is that it cuts my prep time substantially. The bad part about it is these guys have no track record and it's awfully tough to judge a guy's true talents based on eight or nine games. Maymon has been a good outside shooter and is the team's second-leading scorer in the early going. He's prone to turnovers and hasn't been able to hit a two to save his life, so this is a guy that should be funneled inside.
Ashen Ward (6-3, 214) -- Does stuff.
Vytas Sulskis (6-7, 215) --Sulskis (I'm going with "soul-SKIs," also the title of a soon-to-be-released Tyler Perry film) is one of the three returnees and the team's most efficient player by far, which is impressive given that he probably hasn't learned half the names of the guys feeding him. The strange thing is that his shot percentage is lower than it has ever been. Tell employee number four to cut the shit and give him the ball already. Actually, it looks like his extremely impressive free throw rate--he's averaging a free throw attempt for every field goal attempt, which is one of the best ratios in the nation--is suppressing his shot percentage to a large extent. He's drawing over eight fouls per 40 minutes, so the ball is in his hands plenty, and with good reason: he's a good passer and scores effectively inside and out. It's still not enough. He needs to get crazy with the assertiveness.
Damian Eargle (6-7, 215) -- We've actually seen this guy before. Eargle transferred from UNC-Greensboro after the 2009 season; that year he scored 10 points against the Pack on 5-7 shooting. Why he left, I don't know. He got lots of playing time and was the one of the focal points of the offense. Likely he sensed that Greensboro's program was going down in flames. Why he thought it would be any different at Youngstown, I have no idea.
He is the team's best rebounder at both ends of the floor and an excellent shot blocker, though his workload is nothing like what it was at Greensboro. But he's hit 51% of his twos, which makes him dangerous by Penguin standards. When in doubt, hack and hack some more: he's 10-23 from the line.
DuShawn Brooks (6-6, 215), Tre Brewer (6-5, 202), Dan Boudler (6-8, 240), Blake Allen (6-1, 180). Brooks takes a third of the team's shots when he is on the floor, which is absurd considering he's shooting sub-30% inside and out. Dan Boudler plays like Boudler, runs like Boulder.
|Off Reb Rate
|Off Reb Rate
If the Macrowave is able, this is an ideal situation for a 15-20 minute warm-up heading into the Arizona game. Youngstown is a small team with a group of forwards that couldn't possibly hope to match up. Opponents have made 51.5% of their twos this year, and those opponents are a bunch of nobodys. If the Penguins insist on man-to-man, Tracy or no Tracy, NC State should have little trouble scoring inside and drawing fouls along the way.
The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 21.