Robert Morris center Stephan Bennett is no longer on the team, Sports Information Director Jim Duzyk confirmed via e-mail.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t met the necessary requirements to move forward with the program,” Duzyk wrote.
I’m not sure about the chances Bennett comes back, or even would be welcomed back. You may remember that around the time of the NEC championship game, Bennett was involved in an incident in Pittsburgh that took him away from the team. While he traveled with the team during the NCAA tournament, enough may just be enough.
There are a lot of differing opinions on what exactly Robert Morris is going to be losing (or gaining, based on your perspective) with Bennett gone. Let’s recap:
Last year, Hawk scored 4.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Quite frankly, last year was a big time disappointment for him. There were signs that Hawk was going to be able to put something together.
When Hawk came in as a rail-thin freshman in 2012 he at least had the type of size that made you think he could be a really good shot blocker/rebounder. “Maybe he could develop a low-post game,” the average thinking man might have pondered.
By his sophomore year, Hawk was still 150 pounds and it was clear he was never going to be a good rebounder. What did happen was he developed a really nice mid-range game. That 12 foot baseline jumper was money for him. Hell, he hit a three in an NIT game at Belmont.
If Hawk wasn’t going to be able to rebound or be an above-average defender, that mid-range shot needed to be there this season. It wasn’t. 2014-15 was full of awkward jump hooks, fouls and baseline jumpers clunked off the side of the backboard. The metaphorical “leap” we all hoped he would take never happened.
In the sense of a few things, yes, the team will miss Hawk. With the way things have gone the past few years, never underestimate depth. At the very least, Hawk could have been a senior who knew what he was doing, could give guys a breather and maybe something clicks for him. For a team that lost one of the best players in school history (Lucky Jones) and a stud shooting guard (Marcquise Reed), anyone who knows what they’re doing and has played in big spots is at an advantage.
On the other hand, the book of Stephan Bennett appears to be closed. At 6-foot-9, he couldn’t rebound, was an average defender, okay shot blocker and, more often than not, was an offensive liability. If he doesn’t want to be apart of the team, so be it. That’s his decision to make and not something we should judge.