Why would two basketball players on full scholarship to Drexel University - including the team's leading scorer - decide to participate in a harebrained and ultimately failed robbery of a fellow student?
That's what police have accused Dragons starting point guard Jamie Harris and reserve forward Kevin Phillip of doing last week. After both men surrendered to face charges Monday, detectives said they were at a loss to explain the athletes' behavior.
"That's the answer we may never know," said police Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives. Harris, he noted, would have been a senior and had the potential to play professionally.
"Why he would do something like this is beyond comprehension," Walker said.
A third Drexel student, Devon Bond, has been accused of hatching a scheme to rob an off-campus apartment he believed to be full of money.
Harris and Phillip were enlisted as the gunmen, Walker said, but the three found no money and netted nothing but a cell phone.
Bond, of Marlton, N.J., surrendered to police on Friday. Arrest warrants were issued for Harris and Phillip on Saturday. All three men are 21 years old.
Robert Lynch, an attorney for Harris, described his client as "an excellent student" from a "great family" in New York City. He also said the source of the allegations against Harris was "corrupt," but he refused to elaborate.
"We look forward to our day in court to defend against these allegations," Lynch said. "We expect (Harris) to continue to be a successful student and basketball player."
Leon Aristotle Williams, an attorney for Phillip, said he was investigating the allegations and didn't want to speak for fear of harming his case.
It was unclear who was representing Bond.
In a statement, Drexel University said the three students would be placed on "interim suspension pending the outcome of the investigation."
The fate of Harris and Phillip as basketball players remained unclear Monday. Head basketball coach Bruiser Flint and other officials in the athletic department did not respond to multiple calls for comment.
Harris, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound point guard, has become the face of Drexel's basketball program.
A three-year starter, he was a third-team all-Colonial Athletic Association selection this past season after averaging a team-leading 14.5 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Always polite and soft-spoken to the media, Harris was the main player Flint depended upon for on-the-court leadership.
Flint looked for Phillip, a 6-6, 225-pound forward, to provide a spark off the bench. The Brooklyn native averaged 2.9 points and 3.1 rebounds while playing 12.6 minutes a game. Dragon coaches often complimented him for his toughness on the court.
Police say the robbery scheme began on Wednesday, when the three suspects gathered at University Crossings, an off-campus student housing property where each lived in separate apartments.
They drove to the victim's apartment, in the 3500 block of Lancaster Avenue. Much of what happened next was captured on surveillance cameras, Walker said.
He said Bond first tried the door of the building, finding it locked. He killed some time in the pizzeria on the ground floor, before calling up to the victim on the intercom.
Bond knew both the female victim and her male roommate, Walker said. The woman buzzed Bond into the building, and he used a newspaper to prop open the door and prevent it from locking behind him.
Bond went to the woman's apartment and they discussed "their experiences at Drexel University and their education" for about 15 minutes, Walker said.
Bond left and returned about two minutes later with Harris and Phillip. Walker said the athletes pushed Bond to the floor in a ruse to make him appear to be a victim. They began waving their guns around the apartment, demanding money, Walker said.
The victim protested that she didn't have any money, and the men couldn't find any cash in the apartment, Walker said. After Harris and Phillip left, Bond hustled out the door without uttering a word to the victim.
"She realizes after he leaves that he's part of this crew," Walker said. "Our victim had kind of an eerie feeling about Bond."
Walker said Bond was easy to track down - while waiting in the pizzeria, he bought some food with a credit card in his name.
After Bond was arrested, detectives searched Harris's and Phillip's apartments and left their business cards behind. The weapons allegedly used in the crime have not been recovered.
When Harris and Phillip returned, they called the numbers left at their apartments and arranged to surrender Monday morning.
Walker said detectives do not why Bond believed there was a large amount of cash in the victim's apartment. He said they had yet to speak to the victim's roommate, another Drexel student from New Jersey.