2 more Penguins set to depart
Front-court players are saying adios
By Brian Dzenis
Two more players are departing Youngstown State’s men’s basketball team.
Junior forwards Devin Haygood and Tyree Robinson were granted their release on Friday. The university confirmed their departures on Saturday. Haygood was recruited by former coach Jerry Slocum, while Calhoun brought in Robinson.
Head coach Jerrod Calhoun did not return a message seeking comment.
Point guard Francisco Santiago is the lone player on the team that was recruited by Slocum. Santiago isn’t a given to return as the senior and YSU are awaiting word from the NCAA if he will be granted a hardship waiver to gain an extra year of eligibility.
Santiago tore his ACL last July and then suffered additional injuries in December while trying to play through it.
Haygood started 23 games for the Penguins this season, averaging 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game and posting two double doubles.
Robinson came to YSU as a junior-college transfer from Odessa (Texas) Junior College. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while sometimes being a target for Calhoun at the podium.
Calhoun said he benched the forward in the team’s 104-84 loss to Canisius because he was unsatisfied with Robinson’s academics early in the season.
After a 94-84 loss to the Horizon League’s last place team, Detroit Mercy, Calhoun called out Robinson’s conditioning in a game where he tied the team-high total in points with 17.
“We wanted to play him more and more minutes, but at like the eight-minute mark [in the second half], he says, ‘Coach, I need three minutes,’
“‘Three minutes?’ I said. ‘In three minutes, this game could be over,’” Calhoun said. “I said, ‘As soon as you’re ready, put yourself back in.’ That’s our rule. You play hard and you sub yourself in. He did that a few times and I’ve rewarded him.
“We got him physicals. We got him checked out from top to bottom. He has to get in better shape to help our team, but I thought he gave us everything he had.”
Haygood and Robinson join Braun Hartfield, Jeremiah Ferguson, Jacob Brown and Alex Wilbourn as players who have been granted release from the team in Calhoun’s first season in charge.
YSU confirmed Hartfield, Ferguson and Brown’s departure on Thursday and Wilbourn left the team midway through the season.
The Penguins are lacking in the front court. In addition to freshman Naz Bohannon — who has emerged as one of the Horizon League’s top rebounders — JUCO transfer Noe Anabir and Michael Akuchie are the only players considered to be bigs at 6-8 on scholarship. There is also the 6-foot-11 freshman John Salley Jr., a non-scholarship player.