April 28, 2023 will go down as one of the darkest days in recent Penn basketball history.
That was the day news broke that reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Jordan Dingle had opted to enter the transfer portal instead of returning for his senior season and making one last run at an Ivy title and NCAA Tournament appearance with the Red and Blue.
This writer frequently looks for some sort of silver lining or happy takeaway, even after the worst Penn losses. There is none this time.
If you’re pessimistically inclined, Dingle’s departure arguably closes the book on Penn’s 2023-24 season, six months before it even begins.
Bart Torvik’s preseason 2023-24 rankings had Penn ranked 80th initially and 98th earlier this week as talent began to flow through the transfer portal. Sans Dingle, Penn now sits 150th, fifth in the Ivy League and only 36 spots clear of seventh-place Dartmouth.
With Dingle, Penn could reasonably have been called co-favorites for the Ivy title alongside Yale and an outside contender for a NCAA Tournament at-large bid with aggressive scheduling.
Now? It will be a battle to even qualify for the Ivy League Tournament.
The effects of Dingle’s exit — just a small handful of which are listed below — will be felt through not just the program but the Ivy League for years to come.