A Jerk’s Guide to the YSU Penguins

PantherU has decided to forego the usual ho-hum season previews of basketball teams in the Horizon League, instead…well…we’re just gonna trash your team in the style of Deadspin (yeah, we’re not even covering up that we’re ripping them off). For years, PantherU has been second only to the Horizon League office in pissing off Horizon League hoops fans, and it’s high time we embraced the villain. It’s all in good fun, so don’t take it seriously and be ready to enjoy the previews. If you are a fan of a Horizon League team and you want to be a part of trashing your own team, feel free to send all to

The team: Youngstown State Penguins

2014 record: 15-17 (6-10 Horizon League)

The coach: Jerry Slocum, who holy shit has 687 coaching victories in college basketball, which is 13 short of Jerry joining the 700 club. So we’re only three seasons away from having a 700-win coach in the Horizon League! This is exciting! Slocum shares the “Dean of Coaches” title with Milwaukee’s Rob Jeter, despite the fact that he has two winning seasons in nine years at the helm of the Penguins. The bar is low, friends.

The star: Shawn Amiker, who has spent four years on campus at Youngstown and still hasn’t walked away. Seriously. Maybe he really likes mediocre FCS football. Amiker went from scoring 5.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg as a sophomore to 5.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg as a junior, so he’s pretty much the poster boy for “Star by Default.” That’s a pretty solid indication that it’s business as usual in Youngstown.

Could be worse: I mean, we’re looking at a team who lost Kendrick Perry and Damian Eargle over the last two years, probably two of the best players you’ve ever had in Youngstown. Quin Humphrey is probably the best after them. So without them, there’s a strong possibility we could be looking at the quintessential dumpster fire that is YSU basketball this season.

And that’s the worst part. They lost their best player ever and best post player ever the year before, yet STILL only finished 18-16 and 15-17 the last two years? Let’s not forget this is the YSU that regularly schedules the local deaf high schools to in-season home-and-homes.

YSU could be the worst team in the history of basketball with at least five double-digit ass whippings in the W column per season, since they line up ‘teams’ that would also get their asses kicked by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

This season? The ‘Guins (ugh) are taking on Oberlin, Longwood, Thiel and Wilberforce. Three guesses as to which of those teams is in Division I. All right, you’re done, it’s Longwood, the school that for some reason or another hasn’t figured out that they can sell a shit ton of merchandise to frat boy idiots like Morehead State. Side note: Longwood’s head coach is Jayson Gee! That’s where CSU’s top assistant ran off to, a school that likely will get pounded by YSU.

YSU is such a doormat that pretty much everyone has accepted that it’s okay that they suck. “Well, if I had a football team, I’d put the money there too.” YSU is the only school in the Horizon League where the men’s basketball team is a requirement for a Phy-Ed degree. They should be the school that runs all sorts of whacky promotions to get the dying Youngstown valley metro area to come out – y’know, pie-eating contests and celebrity signings (former WWE superstar VIRGIL signing autographs!!!!!!1!!!).

They get a season preview because the other eight university presidents in the Horizon League are too weak or ignorant of the situation to kick them out.

This is the worst: Your stupid ‘Guins (ugh) nickname. It’s like they all sat down, decided that Penguins didn’t match their Ohio rust-belt shittiness well enough (also you’re the second-most southern team in the conference, dipshits), so they shortened the team’s name so their undergrads don’t pull their brain muscles with too many multiple syllable words.

Look forward to: BOBBY HAIN, EVERYBODY! The pride of Jupiter, Florida! Really the star of the team, but I saved him for this spot so people could know there’s light at the end of the tunnel for you ‘Guins (ugh) fans out there. This kid can shoot, he can rebound, he can look like every high school mock skater prick you see at Taco Bell and want to kick in the junk. Vegas puts the line at 2-to-9 that Hain has a neon-trimmed flat-brimmed baseball cap in his wardrobe that he sets on top of his hair so lightly it’d blow off at the slightest breeze when he walks down to 7-11 to score an ounce of weed (if he were into THE POT). He majors in Phy-Ed because of course he does.

Hey, how about that: They finished second in the McCafferty standings last year. Wait, what?! Second?! That’s huge for YSU! That’s like having a professor win a Pulitzer prize for his medical journal article explaining that he cured cancer by using gunshot residue from plugging three rounds in Osama bin Laden’s face.

Seriously though, they could have something cooking here. The WATTS Center is an indoor practice facility that is outstanding and amazing in the conference. They added Jim Tressel, likely the most surefire way of guaranteeing your school president gives a shit about sports. They exist in the valley metro area that really has nothing left going on inside it for sports except minor-league baseball, so they should have a captive audience if they ever start winning.

At the end of the day, though, fuck it. There’s only one school in the Horizon League that does not have men’s basketball as a top priority, and that’s YSU. If we had football, we’d be there too. But we’d also be trying like hell to get in a conference that fits our identity. So come on, Youngstown, the NEC needs another team. If you need a reference, I’ll write something good and strike this post from the interwebz.

What Penguins fans have to say:

Nothing. They have nothing to say, because YSU basketball doesn’t have fans. They have football fans who got tricked into buying season tickets and hobos who come in for the warmth of state-taxpayer funded heating. In either case, basketball ain’t exactly important to these guys.

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