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Freshman guard Sam Brown attempts a shot against Kentucky at the Walls Fargo Center on Dec. 9, 2023. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

After the exodus of key guards Tyler Perkins and Clark Slajchert, freshman Sam Brown’s presence will be more important than ever in the 2024-25 season. But Brown’s offseason training has hit a roadblock early on, with the 6-foot-3 guard suffering a knee injury that will sideline him for a piece of the offseason.

“Just playing four-on-four, I miss a step, go to plant and my knee gives a little bit,” Brown said. “And really I just tweaked a ligament in my knee.”

In his first year, Brown was a key member of the Quakers' rotation, starting 18 games as Slajchert missed seven games with an ankle injury. The Philadelphia-area native showed prowess from behind the arc, shooting 43% from three and averaging 10.9 points per game. With his strong performance to start his Penn career, Brown feels confident in his ability to elevate his game in yet a bigger role next season.

“I'm as excited as you could be. I think along with this summer and another year of experience I’ll be willing and able to take on a bigger role,” Brown said. “I can’t explain how much experience comes into quality of play.”

Part of Brown's this summer will have to be put on pause, with a big part of that coming in Croatia, where the team will travel to compete in exhibition games in the coming weeks.

“I think [the trip] just gives you a better level of focus for the guys,” coach Steve Donahue said. “I think guys know there’s some instant gratification of the six weeks getting ready for games, which I think is a good spring.”

Unfortunately for Brown, that gratification won’t be felt, as he’ll have to sit out those overseas games. His timetable has yet to be determined, but Donahue hopes Brown will be back to 100% by the middle of June — about eight weeks from now.

In the meantime, Brown will use the time to better himself outside of basketball. While his overall offseason program isn’t going to change, he aims to “use the summer to get bigger, better, stronger, smarter.” He and Donahue are both confident in his ability to not only get back to where he was, but return a more well-rounded basketball player come November.

“I know how hard he works,” Donahue said. “I know he’ll take care of it, he’s disciplined, and then he’ll be 100%.”