Since Penn basketball’s season ended on March 11, three members of last year’s squad have left the program.
Penn Athletic Communications Director Mike Mahoney confirmed Monday that junior forward Henry Brooks and sophomore Julian Harrell were no longer on the team. These developments came less than a day after The Daily Pennsylvanian confirmed that freshman guard Tony Bagtas was recently dismissed from the team.
Coach Jerome Allen declined to comment on the developments.
The Quakers now have just three members of their rising senior class on the roster, comprised of guards Patrick Lucas-Perry and Camryn Crocker, as well as forward Greg Louis. Overall, there are only nine underclassmen still part of the program.
“I feel like they’re flipping a new page and really want to move in the right direction from here on out,” a source close to the team said to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “Some guys won’t be on the team next year who were the past two years, and maybe that’s a new start for them, maybe that’s something good.”
The source also said that Harrell “is looking to transfer, and Henry isn’t really sure what he’s going to do yet” in terms of staying at Penn.
Harrell posted a letter he received from Penn’s Athletic Compliance Coordinator Melissa Boettger that said Penn granted Harrell permission to “discuss continuing his participation in intercollegiate athletics with an institution of his choosing.” Allen was cc’d on the letter, which was later deleted from Harrell’s Instagram account but a screenshot of it can be found on the Buzz.
Harrell didn’t play during his freshman year due to injury and struggled with injuries again in 2013-14. He was only able to play 12 games, starting four and averaging 5.1 points per contest.
Brooks, meanwhile, was a member of Allen’s first recruiting class, playing a solid supporting role during his freshman year for the Quakers’ 2011-12 campaign. However, Brooks struggled with consistency and foul trouble during his three years with the program, leading the team in total fouls during each season.
Brooks declined to return phone calls and messages.
These departures come after a tumultuous season for the Red and Blue. The team went 8-20, losing at least 20 games while finishing with single-digit victories for the second straight year. The Quakers were ranked No. 2 in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll yet they finished tied for sixth place, going 5-9 in conference.
The source close to the team thought that the Quakers’ lack of success was more on the players than the coaching staff.
“I think everyone just needed to look in the mirror a little bit harder at themselves and realize exactly what they’re here for and how they’re going to go about it,” the source said. “I really don’t think it was much of a coaching thing. The coaches did as much as they could. They were doing their job, and the guys weren’t doing their job to their full potential, and usually when that happens things don’t go your way.”
The Quakers will add three players next season, with Mike Auger, Sam Jones and Antonio Woods coming in as freshmen, although fellow recruit Ryan Singer had to decommit from Penn.
With a very different roster in 2014-15, the Quakers will look to turn things around after two seasons of turmoil.
“I think some sort of changes needed to be made and I think they will or already have,” the source said. “I’m excited for the guys who are going to be here next year and I think they have a good group of guys I respect. As long as they’re going to work hard together, they can really change things around.”
John Phillips contributed reporting.