By Joe scalzo
Graduation isn’t the only thing taking a toll on the YSU men’s basketball roster.
Juniors Vance Cooksey and Tom Parks and freshmen Eddie D’Haiti and Lamar McKnight told the Penguins’ coaches this week that they plan to leave the program, further weakening a roster that will already lose five seniors.
Penguins coach Jerry Slocum is in Indianapolis this week for the Final Four and did not respond to an interview request.
Of the four, Cooksey and D’Haiti are the biggest losses.
Cooksey, a Chicago native, appeared in all 30 games at point guard, starting 10, and averaged five points and two rebounds in 19 minutes per game.
D’Haiti, an Orlando native, appeared in 28 games, starting five, and averaged 2.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Parks, who hails from Cheyenne, Wyo., played in just 11 games before breaking his foot in December.
McKnight, a Bedford Chanel High graduate, redshirted this past season.
The departures leave just six players on the roster from a team that went 8-22 this winter, including 2-16 in the Horizon League.
Two of those players, forward Damian Eargle and point guard Sheldon Brogdon, both of Warren Harding, didn’t see any action.
Brogdon was redshirted as he rehabbed from an ACL tear his senior year of high school and Eargle sat out the season after transferring after one season from UNC-Greensboro.
Another of the six, McDonald High graduate Andy Timko, is a walk-on who appeared in three games this winter.
That leaves seniors-to-be Vytas Sulskis and Dan Boudler and junior-to-be Ashen Ward as the Penguins’ only returning players with experience.
The Penguins have already signed two incoming recruits — forward Fletcher Larson of Jamestown, N.Y., and point guard Kendrick Perry of Edgewater, Fla.