YSU men's basketball team holds first practice - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

YSU men's basketball team holds first practice

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A new season of Youngstown State men's basketball began as the team held their first official practice on Saturday.

Although it was only day one, the Penguins laid the groundwork for what they anticipate to be a great year under new head coach Jerrod Calhoun.

Calhoun described the anticipation for the team's first practice as similar to "the night before Christmas."

"I've been dreaming of this opportunity for a long time, being a Division I head coach. It's a dream come true, so I knew I was gonna be ready. The kids were anxiously waiting for this. I thought it was a great day. I thought we had a great first practice," said Calhoun.

"Calhoun came in and started from what he did at Fairmont State. He brought it all here and I feel like everything is just gonna rub off from what he brings. I'm really excited for this season," said Cameron Morse, a senior guard.

The excitement was apparent on the first day of practice. The energy and intensity were there. It's easy to see that the players are all in on this season.

"Everyone's bought in because everyone feels that if you play when you get in, they can produce," said Morse.

"We're trying to get everybody to focus. Especially me and Cam, coming from what we did last year. We're trying to get everybody focused and on the same page to achieve that goal. Because this is it for us. So we're trying to get everybody to feel like this is it for them as well so they can give everything they got all the time," said Francisco Santiago, a senior guard.

Coach Calhoun is working hard to bring a new culture to the program. Not just the X's and O's but making sure his team is playing for one another.

"We can sit here and talk about strategy. We can talk about our press. We can talk about trapping a ball screen or defending a down screen, but the bottom line is what wins in sports is togetherness and communication. The guys gotta love each other," said Calhoun. 

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