Catch-and-Shoot Friday

"Go ahead, throw out all the rules!"

– Dana O’Neil of exposes the dark side of college basketball’s summer.  I’m surprised how candid some of these quotes are, even though they’re anonymous.  Who wants to bet John Calipari was the one who suggested the NCAA throw the rule book out?

– Cleveland State is still looking for a guarantee game between December 7th and 11th, Detroit is looking for a home-and-home series to start November 20th or 22nd, and Youngstown State is looking for a scrimmage partner.  Green Bay is also on the market for a home game right before Christmas.  All of these have been on the Basketball Travelers board in the last week and a half.

– The Journal-Sentinel sticks their head up to allow Tom Enlund time to do his beat writing gig for the Panthers.  Tom highlights the coming trip to Italy for Milwaukee.

– Women’s basketball may have had an awful season, but their academics kicked major butt. Congrats on getting the work done where it’s most important, ladies.  Note to Ashley Imperiale, I need a tutor.

Daring. Sensuous. Get your YSU season tickets today.

– Wright State’s baseball alumni are getting picked up even more.  The Frontier League’s Lake Erie Crushers picked up Casey McGrew, who hit a whopping .383 in the Raiders’ co-championship season with the Panthers (I refuse to recognize their regular season title as outright).  They also get to keep their coach!

– Youngstown State still doesn’t care about basketball, with their only fan forum touting a whopping ONE post on the team since February 15th, which happened about a week ago linking to this story after Slocum offered Cale Zuiker, the 44th best prospect in Wisconsin’s 2011 class according to


  1. Michael

    July 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Youngstown State cares about football. We are a football town. Basketball is a distant 2nd. Do I attend most basketball games? Absolutely and I enjoy every minute of them, but basketball will never be big in Youngstown until we have a halfway decent team. And even if we did have a halfway decent team, most people would still not care.

    • Jimmy Lemke

      July 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

      I guess what my question to you, Michael, would be this: what incentive does the Horizon League have to continue with Youngstown State as a member?

  2. Michael

    July 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Didn’t realize the Horizon League cared just about basketball… YSU has a solid track and field program and has had conference championships in baseball and softball in the past few years as well.

  3. Jimmy Lemke

    July 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Money talks. And if you want to get picky, in ten years you have one fluke baseball tournament title and one fluke softball title. Otherwise they’re all in Olympic sports, mainly women’s track and field.

    The fact of the matter is basketball is the Horizon League’s ticket to a better future. All of our members are pulling their weight financially, and if they’re not quite up to par in the expense accounts, they’ve got success, meaning Green Bay.

    YSU has one finish in ten years at fifth place, the rest being 6th or lower. Slocum’s teams topped out at 167 in the RPI, the year of the fifth place finish and the only time the team has cracked the top 200 at the end of the season.

    The Horizon League has a reputation as being in the 10-15 range in conference RPI, the way many conferences are judged. The reason we fall so low, year in and year out, is that the Penguins act as an anchor and drag us down. I distinctly remember one game in 2005-06 where going into a home game against YSU, our RPI was sitting in the 40s, and after a 30-point blowout, we dropped to the high 70s.

    I can support Youngstown if they support the program, but Slocum’s budget is so tiny that he can’t schedule many teams out of the region unless they are buy games, so he ends up with a schedule of patsies for two reasons: because St. Francis (PA) and similar schools are close, and YSU has a much better chance of winning and boosting his team’s W-L record.

    Don’t believe me? Slocum’s Penguins have 8 wins last season: North Carolina Central, Loyola and UIC (both at home), High Point, St. Francis (PA), Geneva, St. Peter’s and Hiram.

    With those wins, Youngstown topped out at 269 in the RPI. The best victory? St. Peter’s, 175. No other wins in the top 200. Of the 22 losses, almost half of them were by double-digits.

    The rest of the conference had decent RPI’s: Butler 7, Green Bay 104, Wright State 87, Milwaukee 126, Detroit 169, CSU 154. That’s six teams with higher RPI’s last season then YSU has had in the last ten years.

    Is basketball everything? No. But you’re a doormat in the majority of your sports, and you at least have to ACT like you’re interested in making basketball a better program. Slocum is no slouch; this guy has won 600 games in his career. But consider this: Slocum came into his job at the same time as Rob Jeter, who is under pressure from the Milwaukee alumni to win this year. In the same amount of years on the court, five, Jeter has 33 more victories than Slocum. And there are people around here that think he’s not doing a good job! What does that say about Youngstown?

    It says they don’t care. And I’ve got a problem with that. Because the Horizon League is a basketball conference. There is a conference at our level that cares only about football, it’s called the MAC. If YSU needs any help in preparing for a move to the MAC, call me. I’ll be glad to help.

  4. Michael

    July 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Yawnnnn! Although our record does not indicate it, every year we are more than competitive against EVERYONE in this league… we just struggle to get over the hump.

    Why not go off on Cleveland State Lemke? We averaged more fans at our games than they did and they had HOW many more wins than us?

  5. Jimmy Lemke

    July 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    And what has Cleveland State done? They only beat Wake Forest in the tournament, getting every team in the conference a share of $1 million,

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