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Who is Youngstown State?

By mrasor Published: January 1, 2007

Men's basketball

Akron has beaten Youngstown State 15 of the last 17 matchups. Normally, this is a squash match.

Tuesday, however, Akron will travel to Youngstown to play a different Penguins team. YSU is building a decent resume, knocking off Central Michigan, Kent State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee on the road.

At 7-7, the Penguins have outshot and outrebounded opponents. That is exactly how they won at Kent State on Dec. 22.

Quin Humphrey and Keston Roberts, both senior guards, lead YSU in scoring with 18.1 points per game each. The media guide calls Humphrey one of the most talented players in the program's 25-year history in Division I. Roberts takes a ton of 3-pointers. He has made 35 percent of them this season. Roberts dropped 30 in YSU's win over Loyola (Ill.) on Saturday.

Point guard Byron Davis transferred from New Mexico State. He leads the team with 3.6 assists per game but is not much of a scoring threat. Davis missed the Loyola win to attend his grandfather's funeral. As you can see, second-year coach Jerry Slocum plays three guards more than 32 minutes per game. About 60 percent of the playing time goes to guards.

Of the five forwards in Slocum's rotation, none averages more than eight points or five rebounds per game. The tallest YSU player is Jack Liles at 6-foot-8. He was the team's leader in blocked shots last season as a freshman. The fifth starter is Dwight Holmes, a 6-6 senior forward who averages only 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds.

With YSU's lack of size, Akron matches up quite well with the Penguins. I would place the line at Akron minus seven. I'll have more on the game tomorrow.

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