When Penn takes on La Salle on Saturday, the Explorers’ senior center Garvin Hunt may give the Quakers at least a glimpse of what might have been for them.
That’s because Hunt was once a highly touted recruit of former Penn head coach Glen Miller’s. Hunt got attention from Miami, Florida and Harvard before choosing to play for Miller in Oct. 2007. But after appearing in just six games his freshman season, Hunt decided that academics were more important than athletics, leaving the program. He told CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman in September that he contented himself with playing pickup basketball three or four times a week against fellow student-athletes.
But Hunt decided to take advantage of the fifth-year graduate transfer rule after getting his degree in architecture in May 2012, joining the La Salle basketball program. Since then, Hunt has played just 18 total minutes in seven games for the Explorers.
Hunt may be a rarely used reserve for La Salle, but he’s a good excuse to think about just a couple of other players that left under Miller or openly because of Miller who are still playing college basketball.
Brian Fitzpatrick, Bucknell: Fitzpatrick played in 17 games off the bench as a freshman for Penn in 2009-10, averaging 9.2 minutes per game. But Fitzpatrick didn’t see room for himself on Penn’s roster and questioned Miller’s recruiting discretion, bolting for Bucknell in the summer of 2010.
Now a senior forward for the Bison, Fitzpatrick also played in all 35 games for Bucknell last year, when he averaged 11.8 minutes per contest. In 15 games this season, he has averaged 1.7 points and grabbed 1.1 rebounds per contest.
Kevin Panzer, Nevada: Panzer was one of Miller’s most heralded recruits for the class of 2014 beforehe decommitted four games into the 2009-10 season (and three games before Miller got canned). He would have provided a much needed offensive big man for the Quakers.
Panzer played in all 32 games in 2010-11 as a freshman for Nevada, earning 10 starts within the first 13 games of the season and averaging 2.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game. He was Nevada’s leading scorer off the bench as a sophomore and as a junior this season, is now averaging 5.6 points per game.
So even 1117 days after Miller was fired by Penn, his recruits are still out there. So keep an eye peeled out for Garvin Hunt on Saturday.