YOUNGSTOWN - It's been a while since both Youngstown State basketball teams have been 2-0. The last time it happened was the 1984-85 season.
The men's team notched victories at George Washington and Georgia and the women's team won at Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
YSU men's coach Jerry Slocum is proud of his team beating an Atlantic-10 team and handling the first Southeastern Conference team in school history.
However, Slocum is still being a realist.
"As I shared with our guys, that's just two games in," Slocum said. "We've got a lot of basketball to be played. They don't give you any awards, trophies or bids at this time of the year.
"We need to stay grounded and keep on working to get better."
Three seasons ago, the women's program lost to Pitt by 52 points and Buffalo beat the Penguins by 54.
"I do understand where we've come from and some of the deficits we've overcome in the past and maybe the psyche heading into some games," YSU women's coach Bob Boldon said. "I think the mindset of our kids is they're playing to win games, which we all know always wasn't the case. Even my first year, I don't think we were necessarily playing to win. That was probably some of the battles that we've had between the coaches and the players, the mindset that we can win every game if we do things correctly. I think we're starting to buy into those things.
"Obviously there's a lot of skill work we need to get better at and concepts we need to improve, but I think we're getting a lot closer to that."
The YSU men have got a lot better, especially on the road. Since YSU has joined the Horizon League to begin the 2001-02 season, winning games on the road has been a premium - could be counted on one hand some years.
This year, the Penguins debunked that myth with two quick road victories.
"Any time you go into a year, there are some measuring sticks that you wonder about," Slocum said. "One of those things is how tough you are. And, do you have the toughness to go on the road to play well to fight through adversity, whether it be a home crowd, officials or whatever.
"I walked into the locker room after the Georgia game to tell them, A, that I was proud of them, but, B, they showed me some toughness in these two games. Both games we had leads at the half. In both games, those leads shrunk. In both of those games, we battled back and took an other commanding lead. I'm proud of those guys of how tough they were mentally."
He's also proud of the team's performance on Monday in front of a national audience on ESPNU against Georgia.
"Tremendous for our university and the city of Youngstown," Slocum said. "There's a lot of people that have talked about it with me that they were very complimentary toward our program and our play obviously spoke for itself in terms of those kind of things.
"Very, very happy for Youngstown. Happy for our athletic department that we could be a little bit of a positive light for the two and a half hours that we were on."
It's a winning culture both the men and women want to continue.
"Winning is good," Boldon said. "That's what we're trying to establish is a winning culture. I think the men did a great job this weekend. Anytime you can do it on national television, that helps your cause. We share the same gym. We practically share the same office. We want them to do as well as we want us to do.
"There's a real sense of pride of Youngstown State basketball and the direction it's going."
YSU MEN, WOMEN HAVE EARLY SIGNEES: San Antonio native Marcus Keene signed during the early period with the men's team.
Keene, a 5-foot-9 point guard at Warren High School, scored 37 points in his team's opener.
Last season, Keene averaged 14.7 points, 5.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
Slocum said Keene will fill the spot that will be vacated by senior guard Blake Allen.
"He's a solid defender," Slocum said of Keene. "He's a very, very good offensive player, can shoot it, drive it. He has the whole offensive package."
For the women, they signed Hannah Boesinger, a 5-11 forward from Hudson and Jenna Hirsch, a 5-7 guard from Decker, Mich. (Marlette Junior/Senior High School).
Boesinger averaged 14.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 2.1 assists and 1.6 blocks per game last year at Hudson, while Hirsch's numbers are 16.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 5.0 steals.
"They're two kids that work hard and embody the things that we've been trying to develop here in this program - kids are going to work hard and do very well academically," Boldon said. "Both players are very versatile, able to play more than one position. We're really excited to add them to our team and be part of our family as we move forward."