The Penn State basketball team will have new look next winter, after all. Though the Nittany Lions had no seniors eligibility-wise last season, four players will not be back for the 2010-11 campaign.
Sophomore guard Chris Babb and freshman forward Bill Edwards are both transferring. That news was first reported by the Harrisburg Patriot-News and has since been confirmed by Penn State sports information.
I had some very good individual meetings with all of our players over the past week and outlined some goals for next season and our plans to reach them, PSU coach Ed DeChellis said. The response was overwhelmingly positive and I'm very encouraged by the commitment and desire our team will take into the off-season.
In those meetings, both Chris and Bill expressed a desire to be closer to home, for different reasons, and elected to pursue transfers that would make that possible. We wish them both well.
Penn State has released both players from their scholarships.
In the meantime, a pair of redshirt juniors -- center Andrew Ott and guard Adam Highberger -- will earn their degrees and not return next season.
Babb, from Arlington, Texas, started 23 games last season and was the Lions' third leading scorer at 9.3 ppg.
Edwards, from Middletown, Ohio, missed the early part of the season with a knee injury and never did round into top form. In limited action, he averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Ott played in 29 games, making six starts, and averaging 3.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Highberger was a deep reserve at guard.
The departures open up three scholarships for the Lions to use for the current class of high school seniors and/or junior college players.
A former walk-on, Highberger was put on scholarship this past season because one was free. But it had already been committed to the only current member of the incoming recruiting class, State College High guard Taran Buie.
Penn State is coming off an 11-20 season in which it finished in last place in the Big Ten.