YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was set to be a special March for the YSU men’s basketball team. Last week, the Penguins were about to play in their second Division I postseason tournament in school history.
That, of course, was canceled, as the team is now all in for next season. Beeghly Center saw some special moments this year, the YSU men making steady progress in year three of the Jerrod Calhoun era.
“From year one to year three to go from 8 wins to 12 wins to 18 wins, it’s been a group effort,” said head coach Jerrod Calhoun. “It’s been players, coaches, managers, and what’s been really neat is to see the fan support.”
Never was that more evident, than back on February 20th when sophomore Darius Quisenberry went off for 41 points in a win against Wright-State, the top team in the conference. Quisenberry was named 1st Team All Horizon League this year and earlier this week, was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as a 2nd team All District 12 performer.
“You know it was just coming and working,” said Quisenberry. “It wasn’t about getting first team or thinking about getting any awards at all. It was just about winning that was the focus the whole year.”
“I always say special isn’t for everybody,” said Calhoun. “Darius is a kid that wants to be special and the way you’re a special player is to put in a lot of work.”
Quisenberry will be the nucleus of next year’s team as they graduate just two seniors, with three new recruits coming in.
“The fans should most definitely be excited, more excited than they ever have been in past years,” said Quisenberry. “Most of us are in that mindset, that there’s no excuses not to win a championship coming back next year.”
“All of our guys have expressed how much they’ve missed basketball so your heart really hurts for those guys,” said Calhoun. “But we’re going to get through it and we’re going to be hungry to make sure that Youngstown gets to the NCAA tournament, where they belong.”