Whenever Penn’s men’s basketball team takes the court – in January as things stand now, since the Ivy League won’t have any sports events in the fall semester – the post-AJ Brodeur era will finally begin.
There aren’t any true frontcourt players in coach Steve Donahue’s incoming freshman class, so the load will be borne by returning senior Jarrod Simmons, highly-promising sophomore Max Lorca-Lloyd, and junior forward Michael Wang (if he can stay healthy).
Penn’s backcourt will be its strength, led by talented sophomores Jordan Dingle and Jonah Charles and junior Bryce Washington. And at long last Jelani Williams should play after missing three seasons with torn ACLs. Max Martz and Lucas Monroe will likely also be major contributors.
Here’s a breakdown of Penn’s departures and additions this summer.
All of Penn’s departing players were graduating seniors.
Ryan Betley: 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard, 11.6 points per game
He was outstanding as a freshman and sophomore, but got derailed after suffering a ruptured patella tendon five minutes into the first game of the 2018-19 season.
Though he didn’t have his prior quickness and mobility when he returned, he still averaged 30 minutes per game in 22 appearances. And he came up big in the season-ending sweep of Cornell and Columbia that clinched a berth in the Ivy League tournament which never happened.
Betley, a Downingtown native, picked Cal-Berkeley for his graduate transfer season.
AJ Brodeur: 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, 17.3 points per game
Penn’s biggest star of the last few seasons, he graduated having set program records in points, field goals, blocks, games started and games played; and he ranks No. 3 in career rebounds and No. 6 in assists.
When Brodeur broke Ernie Beck’s scoring record at the Palestra on March 7 -- in what ended up being his final college game – a few old-timers complained that Brodeur had four years when Beck only had three. But Beck was thrilled.
In a letter to Penn’s alumni magazine published this summer, Beck said he “had the scoring record long enough” and Brodeur “certainly deserves the honor.”
Devon Goodman: 6-foot-0, 170-pound guard, 13.6 points per game
The Laverock native always had skill as a driver and shooter, but he really became a leader in his final season. He shot 45.2% from the floor and averaged 3.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game, and he did so after fracturing his shooting hand seven games into the season. Goodman played with a broken wrist for the rest of the campaign.
Ray Jerome: 6-foot-2, 190-pound guard, 2.5 points per game
A reserve off the bench for his entire career, he averaged 13.5 points per game in 19 appearances as a senior.
Jakub “Kuba” Mijakowski: 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward, didn’t play as a senior
The Poland native didn’t play this past season, and will take a graduate transfer year at Jefferson. His signature game came as a junior: 14 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting in a Jan. 19, 2019 win at Temple that set Penn up to win the Big 5 title a week later.
All of Penn’s incoming players are recruited freshmen.
Matteus Case: 6-foot-5, 190-poind guard, Pickering, Ont. (Chaminade College Prep)
The shooting guard started playing high school basketball in his native suburban Toronto, then transferred to a prep school in St. Louis. His other offers included Canisius, Drake, Florida Atlantic and Mount St. Mary’s.
Colin Chambers: 6-foot-0, 190-pound guard, Malvern, Pa. (Episcopal Academy)
If the last name sounds familiar, you’re right: he’s the son of former Penn basketball star Paul Chambers, and his uncles include State head coach Patrick Chambers and former Penn football player Tim Chambers. Colin captained the Churchmen this past season.
Andrew Laczkowski: 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard, Dallas, Texas (St. Mark’s School)
Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, his offers included Saint Louis, Rice and Northeastern. His size makes him an intriguing prospect for the backcourt, and recruiting experts peg him as the second-best prospect in Penn’s class.
Clark Slajchert: 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard, Thousand Oaks. Calif. (Oak Park H.S.)