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Isaiah Washington and Terrence Samuel are Leaving the Penn State Basketball Program

The two guards were granted their release this week.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State head coach Pat Chambers announced on Thursday that Isaiah Washington and Terrence Samuel have been granted their release from the basketball program and will not be returning to the team this autumn.

Washington had just completed his third season with the Lions after joining the team as a freshman in 2014. Samuel, on the other hand, played just one season with Penn State after transferring from UConn following the 2014-15 campaign. Samuel has one year of eligibility remaining and is on track to graduate from Penn State with a degree in sociology, while Washington has two years of eligibility left he he chooses to play basketball at a different school.

Washington and Samuel were both minor contributors during their Penn State careers. Washington played in 45 games during his three years with the program and averaged fewer than two points per game. Samuel looked to be a key player off the bench early in the 2016-17 campaign, but he saw his role reduced as the season wore on. The Brooklyn, New York native finished with 3.9 points per game and 1.8 assists per game.

These departures might hurt Penn State’s depth in the short term, but they also allow Chambers to recruit higher-ceiling junior college players in preparation for 2017-18. With a talented freshman core in tact, Chambers ought to work on building depth for a team that wilted down the stretch of many close games this year.