The Youngstown State men's basketball team opens the 82nd season in school history when it visits Samford, Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. in Birmingham, Ala. The game can be heard on WKBN 570-AM.
The 2011-12 campaign will be the 40th season the Beeghly Center has been the home of Youngstown State men's basketball. YSU first took to the court in the Beeghly Center in 1972-73.
The Guins are approaching a significant milestone in the program's history. YSU has won 992 games and needs just eight more to collect the program's 1,000th win.
Guins in Season Openers
Youngstown State is 37-44 in season openers and defeated Samford, 64-61, in last year's first game. The previous time the Guins won a season opener was in 2006 when they defeated Central Michigan, 74-50, at a neutral site. The last time YSU won a road season opener was in 2000 when the Guins defeated Saint Francis (Pa.), 64-63.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 12-19 campaign in 2010-11. Samford has nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad, including leading scorer senior guard Jeffrey Merritt, who led the team with 10.3 points per game. Merritt also averaged 6.3 rebounds per contest.
The Samford Series
This is just the third meeting in the all-time series between Youngstown State and Samford. YSU owns a 2-0 edge in the series, including a 64-61 victory last season at the Beeghly Center. The only other meeting between these two schools occurred in 1974 when the Guins won, 83-77, in the Beeghly Center.
Brooks Hits Scoring High
In last season's match up against Samford, senior DuShawn Brooks turned in a career performance. Brooks scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor, including four 3-pointers, and led the Guins to a 64-61 victory.
Slocum In Elite Company
Youngstown State Head Coach Jerry Slocum is one of just 10 active Division I head coaches with at least 600 career victories. Slocum currently ranks sixth on that list with 638 career coaching victories. He also ranks 43rd all-time in career victories.
A Win Will
• Improve YSU 1-0 on the year.
• Mark YSU's first road win of the season.
• Mark YSU's first road victory since defeating Saint Francis (Pa.), 74-65, on Dec. 16, 2009.
• Mark the program's third win over Samford.
• Mark Head Coach Jerry Slocum's 639th career victory and his 59th at Youngstown State.
• Mark YSU's 993rd victory in the program's history.
• Letterwinners - 66.7 percent
• Starters - 80 percent
• Scoring - 63.3 percent
• FG made - 65.6 percent
• 3-point FG made - 67.7 percent
• FT made - 50.5 percent
• Rebounding - 65.5 percent
• Assists - 66.9 percent
The Guins averaged 69.1 points per game in 2010-11. It was the highest season per game average since the 2000-01 team averaged 71.1 points per game. YSU scored 2,072 points in 2010-11, marking just the sixth time since 1990-91 that a YSU team has scored at least 2,000 points in a season. The Guins have scored at least 70 points 15 times last season and owned a record of 6-9 in those games. It is also the most times scoring at least 70 since the 2000-01 season when they scored at least 70 in 15 games.
To the Point
Youngstown State's two point guards - Blake Allen and Kendrick Perry - were the two best in the Horizon League at taking care of the ball. Last year, the two have combined for 196 assists and committed just 91 turnovers for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2.
Ward Approaching Top 10
Senior Ashen Ward has made 97 3-pointers during his career and needs just three more to reach 100. He also needs just 10 more to move into 10th place on the YSU all-time 3-point chart.
Guins Road Warriors
Last season, the Guins played 16 games in the friendly confines of the Beeghly Center. In 2011-12, the Guins will have to take to the road for 16 games and host just 13 contests. It is the fewest number of home games since playing 12 in 2005-06. The Guins also played just 13 in 2007-08.
Eargle Has Chance For 1,000
In just two seasons of playing college basketball, junior Damian Eargle has scored more than 600 points with 607. Eargle needs just 393 more points to reach 1,000 for his entire career, which includes the 2008-09 season at UNC-Greensboro. Last season, Eargle ranked second on the squad with 339 points for an average of 11.3 points per game.
Ward First With 50 Since 06-07
Last season, Ashen Ward led the team with 50 3-pointers made. He became the first player to make at least 50 3-pointers since Quin Humphrey made 65 in 2006-07.
KP3 Most Frosh Assists in 20 Years
Kendrick Perry's 122 assists mark the third straight season a YSU player has recorded at least 100 assists in a season. His 122 assists were the most by a freshman since Lacy Jones' 132 in 1990-91 and are the fourth most by a YSU freshman.
The Guins set school records with 235 3-pointers made and 708 3-pointers attempted. Six different Penguins made at least 20 3-pointers in 2010-11. The Guins also tied a single-game record with 14 3-pointers made against Butler on Jan. 9, 2011.
The Guins showed extreme care when handling the basketball last season. Blake Allen led the Horizon League with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2 (74-to-34). Kendrick Perry, who ranked fourth in the league with 4.1 assists per game, was second with a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio (122-to-57).
Junior Damian Eargle was named to the 2011 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. Eargle averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 51.6 percent from the floor. Eargle also led the Horizon League in blocks per game and his 91 blocked shots ranks second on the Youngstown State single-season list.
Over the last 12 games of last season, sophomore Kendrick Perry was one of the Guins' most productive players. Perry is averaged 13.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game during that span. He scored in double figures nine times and is shot 49.2 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range. He also owned an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6.
Allen Had Strong Second Half
Junior Blake Allen turned an solid second half of the season in 2010-11. Over the last 17 games, Allen averaged 10.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He shot 41.2 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from 3-point range during that time. Allen made 39 of his 92 3-point attempts in the team's final 17 contests. In the first 13 games of the year, Allen averaged 3.1 points per game and made just 8-of-28 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
Eargle 10th Nationally
Junior Damian Eargle ranked 10th in the nation in blocked shots per game with 3.0. His 91 blocks are the second most in a single season. The only other player in school histor to record at least 85 blocks was Ricky Tunstall, who posted 138 in 1982-83. Eargle passed Tunstall for second on the list as well. In 1983-84, Tunstall blocked 83 shots.
Guins Set Single-Game Attempts Mark
The Guins set a single-game record with 35 3-point attempts against Detroit on Feb. 16. The previous record was 33 set earlier this season against Samford on Nov. 12 and tied against Akron on Nov. 20, and Wilberforce on Jan. 11.
Eargle Tied Career Scoring High
Damian Eargle tied a career high with 25 points in the 91-79 loss at Detroit on Feb. 16. The last time Eargle scored 25 points in a game was against Appalachian State in 2009 when he played at UNC-Greensboro. Eargle posted 11 rebounds and five blocks against the Titans.
Beyond the Arc
The Guins' 11 3-pointers made against Bowling Green on Feb. 19, 2011, which marked the ninth time last season they made at least 10 3-pointers in a game. The Guins also tried at least 20 3-pointers in 22 out of 30 games last year.
Guins Tie 3's Mark
Against Butler on Jan. 9, 2011, Youngstown State tied a single-game record with 14 3-pointers. It marked the fifth time that has been done in school history. The last time YSU made 14 3-pointers was against UIC in 2007.
Ward Set Career High Against UIC
Ashen Ward set a career-high with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor, including seven 3-pointers, in the Guins' 71-69 win over UIC on Dec. 30.
OT Losing Streak at 11
With its 94-87 overtime loss to Milwaukee on Feb. 26, Youngstown State has now lost 11 straight games that have gone into extra periods. The last time the Guins on in overtime was against Chicago State in 2001.
Eargle Climbing Blocks Chart
Sophomore Damian Eargle is quickly climbing the YSU single-season blocks chart. His 86 blocked shots rank second on the single-season list. Only Ricky Tunstall, in 1982-83 and 1983-84, has blocked more shots in a season. He is just the second player in school to post at least 80 blocks in a season.
Penguin Block Party
As a team, the Guins had 148 blocks, almost doubling the 74 by their opponents. It also ranks as the second most in school history - just 19 shy of the school record.
Last to Score 30
With 30 points against Loyola on Jan. 9, 2010, DeAndre Mays set a career-high and became the first player to score at least 30 points since Keston Roberts scored 31 against Detroit on Feb. 27, 2007. Mays' performance was the 10th time under Jerry Slocum a player has scored at least 30 points in a game. YSU had just 10 30-point plus performances from Feb. 1988 to Dec. 2005.
The Guins host Notre Dame College, Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.