Who's ready to talk hoops? (OK, OK)


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by Joe Scalzo - "A blog about YSU Penguin athletics, not the insides of penguins." (Contact)   | 155 entries

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I realize that bringing up Youngstown State basketball is a little like talking about Friday's meal in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, but the Horizon League asked for our preaseason all-conference ballots this week, so I'll pass mine along.

Before I do, three thoughts:

1. I hate preaseason polls/awards/etc., particularly ones that ask for my opinion about teams that haven't started training camp yet. Consequently, I spend a lot less time on these ballots than I do for my postseason ones.

2. I originally ranked Youngstown State fourth in the team poll, but a couple YSU people pointed out that my third-place team, Green Bay, got ousted by the Penguins by a 17-point margin in the first round of the tournament. So I bumped them up. That said, YSU's starting lineup has two big question marks and its bench has about seven more. This could be a special year -- or it could be a maddening one.

3. You could make a case that YSU senior Damian Eargle deserves a preaseason all-conference vote -- and I know at least one local voter put Kendrick Perry, Blake Allen and Eargle on his preseason ballot -- but until Eargle develops into a consistent scorer (something we've been waiting to see since he was a freshman in high school), I think the all-defensive team is where he belongs. He should make a strong case for defensive player of the year.

1. Kendrick Perry, YSU
2. Ray McCallum, Detroit
3. Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
4. Kevin Van Wijk, Valparaiso
5. Alec Brown, Green Bay
6. Ben Averkamp, Loyola
7. Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
8. Anton Grady, Cleveland State
9. Blake Allen, YSU
10. James Haarsma, Milwaukee
1. Valparaiso
2. Detroit
3. Youngstown State
4. Green Bay
5. Milwaukee
6. Cleveland State
7. Wright State
8. Loyola
9. UIC

The results will be announced on Oct. 9 at the Horizon League's media day.

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