YSU men add four players

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun always emphasized recruiting is one of the lifebloods of program, especially ones who are trying to establish a winning culture like YSU.

Wednesday, the Penguins took another step in that direction by signing three junior college recruits and a prep school player during the late signing period.

Donel Cathcart III, Kendale Hampton, Antwan Maxwell, Jr. and Olamide Pedersen are coming to Youngstown, adding to the 2018-19 team. Cathcart, Hampton, Maxwell each have two years of eligibility remaining, while Pedersen has four years left.

Cathcart, a 6-foot-5 guard from Buffalo, N.Y., led Niagara County Community College with 20.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He made 144 3-pointers and two seasons — including 82 this past campaign.

“Donel gives us some versatility on the perimeter,” Calhoun said in a news release. ” He can shoot the 3 and can get to the rim. He was coached by Bill Beilein, the nephew of John Beilein, so he’s been well coached and will give us an immediate impact on the wing.”

Hampton, a 6-3 guard from Columbia, S.C., played for Garden City Community College, averaged 13.7 points and shot 41.8 percent from 3.

“Kendale is just a pure scorer,” Calhoun said. “When you think of Kendale Hampton you think of scoring. He made 82 3-pointers last year and shot it at a very high percentage.”

Maxwell, a 6-7 forward who comes from the College of Central Florida, averaged 8.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and shot 45.4 percent from the floor. He played his freshman season at Charleston Southern.

“Antwan came from a winning program and has Division I experience playing at Charleston Southern previously,” Calhoun said. “He’s a very mature kid and can do a little bit of everything. He can post you up, play the perimeter and he can lead the break.”

Pedersen, a 6-9 forward from Denmark, averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan. Sunrise Christian is a preparatory school.

“Ola is very athletic and very skilled and his upside is tremendous,” Calhoun said. “He’s 6-9, can shoot 3s and can take you inside and take you out.”

Darius Quisenberry (Huber Heights Wayne) Jelani Simmons (Columbus Beechcroft), Atiba Taylor (Hackensack, N.J.) signed in November.

These seven recruits add to scholarship players Noe Anabir (6-8), Devin Morgan (5-10), Michael Akuchie (6-8), Garrett Covington (6-5) and Naz Bohannon (6-6).

There hasn’t been an official decision by the NCAA on Francisco Santiago, who had an ACL tear end his season. If Santiago does not come back, YSU has one more scholarship available for the 2018-19 season.