YSU basketball team ready to visit Virgin Islands


Penguins will play 3 preseason games

Staff report

The Youngstown State’s men’s basketball team will be taking in some sunshine and preseason action.

The team leaves today for the U.S. Virgin Islands for a three-game exhibition swing.

“We get 10 days to work with the guys using the allotted time we get from the NCAA,” head coach Jerrod Calhoun said. “For the most part, these trips help your team.

“Whether it’s cleaning things up with the returning guys and working on things with the new guys, we’re anxious for these next 10 days.”

The team will play the University of Calgary on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the Virgin Islands national team on Thursday at 3 p.m. before a rematch with Calgary on Friday at 10 a.m.

NCAA rules permit teams to do one of these types of trips once every four years and Calhoun said he had been researching the trip since he became the head coach in 2017.

Calhoun is entering his third season as the Penguins head coach. The Penguins went 12-20 with an 8-10 mark in Horizon League play last year.

All three games will be carried by WNIO-am 1390 and the iHeartRadio app.

“What I want of of this trip to the islands is for everybody to bond and grow,” junior forward Naz Bohannon said.

“It’s going to be a lifetime experience, but playing wise, we need to gel together and see what lineups work. We need to grow team chemistry.”

NEW ASSISTANT COACH

The team announced the addition of assistant coach Ethan Faulkner to complete its 2019-20 coaching staff.

Faulker and Chinedu Nwachukwu — a hire from July — replaces assistant coach Brady Trenkle and director of player personnel Kevin Bruinsma.

In the resulting staff shakeup, Jason Slay has been promoted to associate head coach.

Faulkner and Nwachukwu fill the assistant coach spots as former assistant coach Paul Molinari becomes the team’s director of operations and Danny Reese is now the director of player personnel.

“I feel like we’ve put together a staff that makes us very young and very energetic,” Calhoun said. “Chinedu working under [current Cleveland Cavaliers and former Michigan head coach John Belein] makes his offensive mind tremendous and Ethan Faulkner played in the Horizon League for Northern Kentucky and understands it. He’s a tough guy.”

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