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YSU men end long tournament drought



Published: Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

photo

Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry (3) drives against Wright State’s Jerran Young (4) and A.J. Pacher (23) during a Horizon League tournament game Friday at Valparaiso. The Penguins lost, 66-59, but Perry and his teammates aren’t finished. YSU has accepted a bid to the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Last Friday, after his team had lost a tough game to Wright State in the Horizon League tournament and his senior teammates were wondering whether their college basketball careers were over, Youngstown State junior guard Kendrick Perry got some very good news.

He wouldn’t have to spend spring break in Florida.

“The guys were pretty down and, obviously Blake [Allen] and Damian [Eargle] thought they weren’t going to play again, but coach settled us down pretty quickly and let us know we were invited to a tournament,” said Perry, who hails from Ocoee, Fla. “Now we’re taking everything in stride and living in the moment.”

For the first time in their 32-year Division I history, the Penguins will be playing postseason basketball. YSU accepted an invitation to the 5-year-old CollegeInsider.com tournament and will host a first round game Tuesday night against an opponent to be named.

YSU has not played in a postseason tournament since the 1977 Division II tournament. The CIT and the 16-team College Basketball Invitational (CBI) are considered to be on the third tier of postseason tournaments behind the NCAA and the NIT. Kent State and Valparaiso have played in the CIT in recent years and UIC has been accepted this year.

“I think it’s a progressive step of where we want our program to be,” YSU coach Jerry Slocum said. “We hope this parlays into a traditional kind of thing.

“We’re ecstatic with this opportunity.”

The Penguins (17-15), who posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1985, will pay $35,000 to host a first-round game.

Slocum said if YSU wins, the school may be interested in hosting successive games, provided the community supports the games. The cost is the same for each round, with second-round games held March 21-23, followed by quarterfinals (March 24-26), semifinals (March 28-30) and the April 2 championship game.

“The fact that the university would do that for us, I think it speaks of where we want to be and where we’re going,” Slocum said. “At the same time, we hope a lot of people come out and not make it a financial burden for the university. If we get 2,500-3,000 people in here, it shows our university that our community is gonna support us and takes away probably about 75 percent of the cost of hosting it.”

Tickets are $10 for reserved and $7 for general admission. YSU students get free admission.

“I think this [bid] is a huge step,” said Perry, who should be back at full strength after missing the last four regular season games and part of the tournament game with a knee injury. “Every year we’re getting a little better and I think it shows the commitment to excellence in the program.”


Comments

1ailierdroit(106 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

This is pretty pathetic for so many reasons:

-Just how many postseason champions do we really need? Let’s just have a ‘You’re All Winners Tournament’ sponsored by the Bleeding Heart Society, where everyone loses but one, yet they’re all recognized as winners. Yeah, I know, it’s about money.

-Speaking of which, does anyone REALLY think this can be profitable after a $35,000 ‘investment’ from the university? And then pay more for deeper rounds? Doesn’t the Athletic Department have to account for this in their budget (not including advertising costs) or do they have this money lying around? What benefit comes from being a CIT champion? Even only hardcore fans could recall who just won last year’s NIT tournament. I’m sure Coach Slocum isn’t going to cite his team’s CIT appearances as a recruiting carrot.

-Can we possibly, possibly, possibly further separate the athlete from the student? Some schools may be on Spring Break over this time, but certainly not all.

Bad idea. Done ranting.

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2badeepster(113 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Only a classic Ytown idiot would bash the program's 1st post-season appearance in decades. Shame on you. Go back to watching the Kardashians.

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3ysuwin(58 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

I knew the Vindy would come up with pathetic Youngstown losers like ailierdroit.

The $35,000 is an investment, and you can absolutely believe YSU will use this as a recruiting carrot.

There's one way for YSU to get to the top of the Horizon in basketball consistently, and that's to spend about $400,000 more annually on their basketball program. If not, they can make gradual, small steps to get there.

And if $35,000 gets us one or two better recruits, then it is more than worth it when you look at the alternative.

The $35,000 is an investment toward the future of the basketball program. If you don't think it's worth it, then your mindset is like every other loser in the world who thinks $35,000 is a lot of money. Aka your years salary at the 16th job you've held in the last 22 years.

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4UncleStink(12 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Playing in this postseason tournament is a very good thing for YSU. Not only does it enhance their profile for future recruits, but it allows the coaches and team to continue to practice. The extra practice time to work on your skills and the teams system is crucial to the development of these kids. (Especially the younger players who may not have gotten a lot of minutes) The tournament game(s) will allow these kids to gain much needed experience in a pressure atmosphere. You cant teach that! For YSU, this is a great team building experience for future seasons, and these games are vital in their development for future seasons.

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