The Milwaukee Panthers can’t catch a break.
After posting a respectable 16-17 season in Pat Baldwin’s first year, they have now lost their entire starting five to either transfer or graduation. On Monday, the university granted each of its three leading scorers from last year — Brock Stull, Jeremiah Bell, and Bryce Nze — their releases.
Todd Rosiak from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had the news first:
BREAKING: Brock Stull, Bryce Nze and Jeremiah Bell are all transferring out of UWM's men's basketball program. Stull and Nze both have confirmed to me their intentions to move on from the Panthers.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) April 23, 2018
“Our staff wishes this group of players nothing but the best. We never like to see players leave, but each student-athlete has a unique set of circumstances and feels what is best for them is somewhere else. As they all wish to pursue options at the high-major level, we do want to thank them for their contributions to the Milwaukee basketball program.”
Stull, Nze, and Bell combined for over 55 percent of Milwaukee’s scoring, 47 percent of its rebounding, and more than two thirds of its made three-pointers from 2017-18.
Stull will be a graduate transfer, eligible to play at his new school immediately, according to Verbal Commits.
That trio joins Brett Prahl (graduation), August Haas (transfer), and Jeremy Johnson (transfer) as major contributors to depart last year’s team. The Panthers currently have two three-star recruits signed for next season, per 247Sports, but Verbal Commits does not list them as having landed any transfers, leaving plenty of work for Baldwin to do in the coming weeks.
The unexpected exodus is just the latest in a period of turmoil for the program. Prior to 2016-17, Lavall Jordan took over for Rob Jeter and returned almost no major contributors from the year before. Then, after going 11-24, Jordan took the Butler job late in the offseason, and the Panthers scrambled to hire Baldwin. Given the circumstances, he had a successful first season. Now the program is scrambling again.