By Marc Weems
With college basketball season almost two months away, two Youngstown State University basketball players took a basketball trip to Spain.
Along with a trip to Spain, Devin Haygood and Cameron Morse played some basketball and saw some sights.
“Being in Spain was something that I never thought I’d be able to experience,” Haygood said. “It’s just a totally different culture over there. There was a lot of tourists but it isn’t like going to San Francisco or something. There are tourists from all over the world.”
This trip was under the direction of the Global Sports Academy, or GSA, and it has been doing those trips for years.
“The first day we got there, a random guy comes up to Cam. We didn’t know what he was saying and he was asking for a picture. Everything was just great. The scenery was wonderful and the history was great.”
While both Morse and Haygood were there, GSA went 4-0 with them on the team.
“It was a great experience. I’m glad coach [Jerrod] Calhoun was able to get me on that trip,” Morse said. “It was a nice little 7-day trip. We toured the city, played four games and rode through the mountains. Overall, it was a good experience.”
Last season for YSU, Morse averaged 22.9 points per game on 41.5 percent shooting. He also grabbed a career-high 3.2 rebounds and dished 3.1 assists per game.
“With Dev [Haygood] there, it was good for our team but it was great for us as teammates here,” Morse said. “Now, I feel like I can go to him for more things. Late last year, we didn’t talk much. We are building a bigger bond. That’s my guy.”
Last season, Haygood averaged 6.1 points per game while shooting 58.1 percent from the field. He also grabbed 3.7 rebounds and blocked one shot a game.
Haygood said that playing European-style basketball was much different than anything he played before.
“When it comes to basketball, out there it was just totally different than what we are used to here,” Haygood said. “The referees are hard to understand. They might be telling you that I travelled and we’d say that’s not a travel in the U.S. It was a big adjustment.”
Haygood also said that the fouls were much weaker and that the European style was tough to get used to at first.
“We are both from Michigan and in Michigan, that is all we really know; the run-and-gun,” Morse said. “We like to get up the court. He likes to dunk the ball and I like to score the ball and pass. I tell him just to run the floor and I will find him.”
Morse also said that playing like that overseas has helped their practice because it helped push coach Calhoun’s mentality and willingness to find the extra man.
“On the court, Cam and I haven’t really had a chance to play into my style of basketball,” Haygood said. “When I was out there able to run, I played better. Just playing in the post last year wasn’t my thing. Our new system showed how well me and him can play together.”
In the second game of the tour, Morse put up 22 points while Haygood put up 22 in the third game of the tour.
“Their style of play means moving the ball around and finding the open man. That’s what coach wants out of us so everything over there was to our advantage.”
YSU will start the year on the road against Kent State University at the University of Akron on Nov. 11.