By Jeff Brown
Youngstown State University basketball player Bobby Hain has cemented himself as one of the premier big-men in the Horizon League.
Hain had a breakout season during his sophomore campaign a season ago. He averaged 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, which was good enough to earn him Second-Team All-Horizon League Honors going into this season. Hain also finished last year second in rebounds and eighth in field goal percentage.
“His game has gotten so much better progressively over the years, we need him on the floor to be successful,” head coach Jerry Slocum said.
The junior is off to another great start, averaging 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds this season, but the numbers have potential to be much better. Hain is averaging 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes of play this season. This has caused him to have to sit out during key stretches for the Penguins at multiple times this season.
“Bobby’s really really important to us. We’re a different team when he’s on the floor. So making little mistakes, and I mean little mistakes like fouls, ones that are controllable,” Slocum said. “You know those are the things that really he has to be able to grow up in.”
Hain also credits mental mistakes as a reason for his problem staying out of foul trouble. Hain has recorded four or more fouls in five of the nine games this season, including two foul outs.
“Obviously it helps when I’m on the floor. I just got to be smarter with my defense sometimes I have these silly fouls,” Hain said. “Sometimes I don’t think there the right calls but I mean they know what they’re doing. So I just got to stay out of foul trouble really. “
If Hain is able to remain out of foul trouble, he has potential to average a double-double in points and rebounds. Hain is averaging 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per 40 minutes this season.
“That’s my goal,” Hain said about the prospects of averaging a double-double. “I just got to stay out of foul trouble and I could do it.”
Hain has 12 career double-doubles and three so far this season in nine games. He scored a career high in points three times this season. On Nov. 6, Hain scored 20 points against Oberlin College. He tied his career high against the University of North Carolina Greensboro on Nov. 23. Most recently, Hain set a new personal record scoring 24 points to give the Penguins a 89-81 victory against Robert Morris University on Dec. 2.