Five new recruits from the class of 2023 are joining Penn men’s basketball for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Head coach Steve Donahue announced yesterday that freshmen Jonah Charles, Jordan Dingle, Max Lorca-Lloyd, Max Martz, and Lucas Monroe are the five new members of Penn’s squad.
“We’re always excited when we officially bring in the next class of freshmen,” Donahue said in a Penn Athletics statement. “I believe these five individuals will have an extra special impact on our program. Each of these guys committed to the admissions process at Penn at a very early stage, which shows how excited each of them are to become Quakers. Their early buy-in has allowed us to get to know them better than we typically know most guys when they set foot on campus. I think all five guys love the game of basketball and will continue to embrace our gritty mindset.”
The five each come from different states: New Jersey, New York, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, respectively. From the looks of it, Penn’s recruiting class is pretty strong, and they will fill in gaps on the team left by the recently graduated seniors.
Lorca-Lloyd is easily the most highly-touted recruit in the class. Ranked the 40th best power forward in the nation by ESPN, Lorca-Lloyd comes to Penn with the hype of a three to four-star recruit. According to ESPN, Lorca-Lloyd had offers from several Power Five schools including Penn State, Ohio State, and California. He also turned down an offer from Ivy foe Harvard.
At 6-foot-9, Lorca-Lloyd’s size makes him a formidable and versatile big. He is perhaps the likeliest of the five to earn significant playing time this season as Penn tries to replace Max Rothschild. Lorca-Lloyd will join rising sophomore Michael Wang and rising junior Jarrod Simmons as the primary bigs complimenting star AJ Brodeur.
Lorca-Lloyd also has international experience representing his native Chile in international youth competitions. He led all players in rebounds at the FIBA South American U-17 Championships in 2017.
Like Brodeur, Lorca-Lloyd attended Northfield Mount Hermon School. NMH has produced a number of players in the Ivy League, including recent Penn graduates Jackson Donahue and Collin McManus.
“Looking at them individually, Jonah seems to have all of the tools that will make him a productive player in our offense,” coach Donahue said. “Jordan will come in and immediately be the strongest kid on our team and plays with great zeal. Max Lorca-Lloyd has a chance to be one of the most athletically gifted players in our league. Max Martz has a leader’s mentality and plays with a tremendous amount of grit and hustle. And Lucas possesses many important basketball qualities that help players thrive in today’s game.”
All of the recruits stand at 6-foot-3 or above — especially tall considering the number of guards and wings in the class. Though they represent a good mix in terms of the positions they play, each describes himself as versatile and gritty, two attributes that coach Donahue has emphasized in his tenure.
The newcomers also help to fill positions of need in the backcourt. Since Jackson Donahue, Antonio Woods, and Jake Silpe have graduated, Penn is thin at the guard positions. The return of the injured Ryan Betley and Jelani Williams will help, but this recruiting class adds significant depth - four of the five newcomers play in those positions of need.
Charles and Hartz have experience as wings with scoring and shooting abilities, while Monroe plays shooting guard and Dingle handles the ball as a point guard.
Monroe, who went to Abington Senior High, represents a local recruit. His high school teammate, Eric Dixon, will play for Villanova — adding another layer of intrigue when Penn looks to repeat as Big 5 champions next season.
Penn will hope to build on the success they had last season. The 2018-19 season marked the third time in history that Penn basketball had finished with a 4-0 record in Big 5 play, the first two times being in 1973-74 and 2001-02. Though they won the Big 5 title, the Quakers were unable to dominate the Ivy League as they had in 2017-18. They finished fourth in the regular season, and lost in the semifinals of the Ivy Tournament to Harvard.