Division I college basketball’s worst team is losing its building blocks.
Chris Longoria and Ben Dickinson, two freshmen on the Binghamton University men’s basketball team, will transfer at semester’s end. Omar Richards, another freshman, has obtained his release papers, usually a strong indication of an intent to transfer.
The departures present another setback in a rebuilding process that began after a wide-ranging 2009 scandal that resulted in multiple player dismissals, the retirement of University President Lois DeFleur, the resignation of athletic director Joel Thirer and the suspension and eventual dismissal of head coach Kevin Broadus.
Binghamton will be losing two, and potentially more, of its top-five scorers from the 2011-12 season — bright spots during a forgettable 2-29 bottom-of-the-national-barrel campaign. Coupled with two assistant coaches already having parted ways with the program, a complete overhaul may already be underway.
Head coach Mark Macon, who recruited the three freshmen, declined to comment for this story.
In February 2011, Macon was given a two-year contract extension by the school’s interim athletic director Jim Norris. Pipe Dream asked current athletic director Patrick Elliott by email to comment on the transfers and what they mean for Macon’s status.
“As far as transfers: For student privacy reasons, we do not comment on student-athlete transfer releases,” Elliott wrote. “If and when a student-athlete formally transfers to another institution we would make an announcement at the appropriate time.”
“In that case I could then address your second question [about Macon’s status].”
Dickinson, Binghamton’s top rebounder, second-leading scorer and an America East All-Rookie team selection, confirmed his plans to transfer in an email to Pipe Dream.
“I want to thank coach Macon for giving me the opportunity to play at Binghamton,” he wrote. “I wish the team the best.”
Longoria, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from Peachtree City, Ga., said in a text message that he would be transferring to a school closer to home.
Richards, a 6-foot-8-inch forward, confirmed that he had obtained his release papers and was “considering the possibility of transferring schools.”
The three players combined to score an average of 25.2 points per game this season on a team that averaged just 56.8 ppg. They all averaged more than 20 minutes of playing time.