Doc Sadler had to know it wasn't going to be easy in his first season at Southern Miss. Four senior starters were departing from a team that won 29 games last season. Aaron Brown was the lone returning starter, and a big senior season was expected from him.
And now Brown is gone too.
Southern Miss announced on Friday morning that it had given Brown a release to transfer.
"Upon returning to the office tonight, after two full days away, I had the opportunity to fully review Aaron Brown's written request for a release," athletic director Bill McGillis said in a release. "I was able to contact and visit with Aaron personally to discuss his request and to understand his family circumstances. I was also able to visit with coach Sadler to gain his perspective.
"Coach Sadler and I agree that Aaron's circumstances warrant the granting of his release. Coach Sadler thinks very highly of Aaron and is supportive of his decision to attend graduate school at another institution that better fits his family circumstances."
Brown is a former Temple transfer who will be eligible to play immediately due to the graduate transfer rule. The 6-foot-5 swingman averaged 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, knocking down 39.1 percent from 3-point range.
Fellow starters Michael Craig, Neil Watson, Daveon Boardingham and Jerrold Brooks had used up their eligibility, meaning the leading returning scorers for the Golden Eagles are Matt Bingaya and Jeremiah Eason, both of whom averaged 5.5 points.