The Jerrod Calhoun era of Youngstown State men's basketball begins with the team's first official practice, Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Beeghly Center.
Calhoun, who was announced as the program's 13th head coach on March 28, 2017, spent the last five seasons as head coach at Fairmont State. In those five seasons, Calhoun guided the Falcons to an overall record of 124-38 and four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. Last season, the 2017 Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year led Fairmont State to a 34-3 overall record and a national runner-up finish.
The Penguins, who advanced to the Horizon League semifinals for the first time in program history last season, return three starters from last year's team. Headlining that crew is senior Cameron Morse, a 6-foot-2 guard from Flint, Mich. Morse, a 2016-17 First-Team All-Horizon League selection, ranked ninth in the nation in scoring with 22.9 points per game and 15th with 711 total points. His point total set the YSU Division I single-season scoring record, and he ranks 15th all-time with 1,421 career points.
Senior guard Francisco Santiago (6-foot-1, Cleveland, Ohio) has started 64 games over the last two seasons and improved his production each year. Last season, Santiago averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game and posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2 He ranked second in the league in assists, assists per game, steals per game and assist-to-turnover ratio. His 158 assists last season are the third most in YSU's Division I era.
The Penguins' third returning starter is 6-foot-6 sophomore guard Braun Hartfield (Cleveland, Ohio). Hartfield started in 14 games and made a huge impact in Horizon League play. He averaged 10.7 points per game against league opponents and scored in double figures 11 times overall.
Also returning for the Penguins are senior guard Ryan Strollo (6-foot-2, Youngstown, Ohio) sophomore guard Jeremiah Ferguson (6-foot-2, Naperville, Ill.) and junior forward Devin Haygood (6-foot-7, Ypsilanti, Mich.). Strollo has appeared in 16 career games for the Penguins while Haygood appeared in all 34 games last year with three starts. Haygood led the team with a .587 field-goal percentage and averaged 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Ferguson appeared in 23 games and shot 50 percent from the floor.
Calhoun signed eight new scholarship players during his first two months on the job.
Below is snapshot of each member of the 2017-18 Youngstown State recruiting class:
6-8 • Fr • F • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
• Averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game last season.
• Named Miami Herald All-Broward County Second-Team
• Shot 40 percent from 3-point range.
• Finished with a 4.2 grade-point average.
6-8 • Jr • F • Geneva, Switzerland
• Averaged 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent at Mesa Community College.
• Shot 52.3 percent and averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game at Kansas Technical College.
6-6 • Fr • F • Lorain, Ohio
• Associated Press All-Ohio First-Team selection.
• Named Lorain County's Mr. Basketball after averaging 17 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
• Led Lorain to a 23-3 record.
• Lorain's all-time leading scorer with 1,345 career points with 863 career rebounds.
• Guided Lorain to a three-year mark of 69-8.
6-9 • Fr • F • Clemmons, N.C.
• Averaged 16.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game last season at Forest Hill Academy.
• Named to the Triad High School All-Star Classic.
• Posted 15.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game as a junior at Calvary Day High School.
• Averaged 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game at Winston-Salem Christian High School as a sophomore.
6-5 • Fr • G/F • Carmel, Ind.
• Led Don Bosco Prep to a 19-6 record in 2016-17.
• Averaged 15 points, six rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
• Shot 49 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free-throw line.
• Averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game during his time at Carmel High School.
5-10 • Jr • G • Chester, Va.
• Transfer from Delaware State and is required to sit out the 2017-18 season to fulfill NCAA transfer requirements.
• Will have two years of eligibility remaining.
• Named All-MEAC Third-Team in 2016-17 after averaging 14.4 points and 3.3 assists per game.
• Ranked eighth in assists per game, second in free-throw percentage (.894) and third in 3-pointers made per game (2.7).
• He made 86 3-pointers last season, which rank fourth on the school's single-season list.
• In two seasons at Delaware State, Morgan scored 833 points in 63 games for an average of 13.2 points per game and made 156 3-pointers.
6-5 • Jr • F • Fall River, Mass.
• Spent two seasons at Odessa (Texas) Junior College.
• Scored 410 points for an average of 12.8 points per game and posted seven rebounds per contest.
• Connected on 66 percent of his field-goal attempts, scored in double figures 23 times and had at least 20 points three times last season.
• As a freshman, Robinson shot 70.4 percent from the field and averaged 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
• During his time at Odessa, Robinson made 75.8 percent of his free-throw attempts as a freshman and 72.2 percent as a sophomore.
6-11 • Jr • C • San Diego, Calif.
• Played two seasons at San Diego City College and scored 574 points and grabbed 351 rebounds with 62 blocks.
• Last season, he averaged 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and collecting 38 blocks.
• As a freshman, Wilbourn scored 8.9 points per game with six rebounds per contest and shot 48.9 percent from the field.
Also joining the Penguins are Jaylen Benton (6-2, Sr., G), Justin Bofenkamp (6-0, Fr., G), Geoff Hamperian (6-4, Fr., G), John Kirincic (6-1, So., G), Dan Ritter (6-3, Fr., G) and John Sally, Jr. (6-11, Fr., C).
The Penguins open the 2017-18 season against Kent State, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. in the Northeast Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer Doubleheader in Akron, Ohio.