Ron Ron is gone.
Freshman guard Taran Buie, suspended indefinitely from the men's basketball team since Dec. 27, 2010, has been released from his scholarship according to an athletic department press release this afternoon.
Buie, the half brother of Penn State legend Talor Battle, gave his verbal to coach Ed DeChellis following the team's win in the 2009 NIT at Madison Square Garden to much fanfare. As a three-star prospect, many expected him to carry his brother's torch and take over as the star of the team beginning in 2012.
A series of run-ins with the law over the past year, however, dropped him out of favor with the coaching staff, which suspended him after 11 games in which he 5.8 points and two rebounds of the bench before allowing him to seek transfer today.
Of course, this is an immediate blow to the program as Buie had the potential to become a big contributor moving forward. Fortunately for Penn State, though, the staff now has two remaining scholarships to sign players in the late signing period of the incoming recruiting class.
DeChellis said in his season ending news conference he was looking to pick up another guard, likely with this scenario in mind, so the staff probably already has some replacements targeted. We'll see in the next month or so what they're able to land. Don't look for many, if any, JUCO players, however. Though Penn State has had success going that route in the past with guys like Stanley Pringle, a key player on the NIT title team, DeChellis said last month he doesn't see much out there this season.
With that said, it looks like what was already young group of Lions has gotten younger still. The potential exists for six true freshman to join seven players who could play with freshman or sophomore eligibility in 2011-2012.