Saint Peter’s became the greatest Cinderella in NCAA Tournament history, with the Peacocks making a historic run to the Elite Eight as the No. 15 seed.
Now, as the Peacocks’ coaching search drags into a second week, the exodus is on.
Five members of the rotation have entered the NCAA transfer portal, and sniper Doug Edert is the first out, pledging to defend defending Northeastern Conference champion Bryant during a a visit there on Saturday, as widely reported and confirmed by USA TODAY Network New Jersey.
Saint Peter’s were lucky to make a smooth transition after coach Shaheen Holloway returned to alma mater Seton Hall – a move everyone saw coming well in advance. But the obvious step, the promotion of top assistant Ryan Whalen (who Holloway hailed as a ‘waiting coach’ last month and who had strong player support), failed to materialize as Saint Peter brass instead opted for a national search. A second local candidate who reportedly took the job with Holloway’s approval, Seton Hall associate head coach Grant Billmeier, never received an offer and followed former Pirates coach Kevin Willard to Maryland. .
GO HOME:Seton Hall welcomes Holloway’s return as new coach
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The result for Saint Peter’s: Edert is gone, and fellow guards Daryl Banks and Matthew Lee and forwards Hassan and Fousseyni Drame remain in the NCAA transfer portal. Whalen, meanwhile, is staying in St. Pierre on an interim basis while the search continues.
On March 31, the day he was introduced as Seton Hall head coach, Holloway made it clear he believed the core Peacocks could be kept intact – and that he would not be taking his former payers with him. in South Orange.
“I have to make sure we handle this the right way,” Holloway said. “This team has to stick together because I think they still have history to make.”
As the dust settles, some 2,000 college basketball players are expected to enter the NCAA’s transfer portal, after more than 1,700 did so a year ago.
Here’s a look at Saint Peter’s outgoing players:
Doug Edert to Bryant: The 6-2 Bergen Catholic product, with two years of eligibility remaining, landed some huge shots during the Peacock’s March Madness magic run, producing three straight double-digit games, including a 20-point performance against the Peacock. Kentucky.
In the portal
Daryl Banks: The 6-3 guard through Patrick School, with two years of eligibility remaining, averaged 11.3 points for the Peacocks, including a 27-point outburst against Kentucky. He scored 14 points in their Sweet 16 against Purdue and was one of their best defensemen.
Matthew Lee: The 6-0 point guard led the show for the Peacocks, averaging 6.8 points, and was a fierce defender on the ball. Lee still has two years of eligibility.
Hassan Drama: Mali’s 6-7 junior forward (twins with Fousseyni) averaged 6.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. He shot 50% from the field. Like his brother, he is an excellent student.
Fousseyni Drama: The 6-7 junior forward averaged 7.0 points and 6.4 boards in 22 minutes per game. He shot 55% from the field.