Just when it appeared Tulane’s basketball roster had finally stabilized, another announcement came down.
This time, it was rising junior Payton Henson who chose to leave the Green Wave after two seasons under coach Ed Conroy.
“I have decided to transfer from Tulane and seek opportunities to play elsewhere,” Henson tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “I want to thank the coaches and everyone else involved with Tulane University for the opportunity the past two years.”
That makes five early departures this offseason for a Tulane program that recently suffered through its first losing season (15-16) in three years but has signed its highest-rated recruiting class in more than 15 seasons.
Henson played in all 31 games, logging the fifth-most minutes of any Tulane player, despite not starting a game. He struggled offensively, converting just 39 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 19 percent from 3-point range (11-of-56).
He joins starting point guard Jonathan Stark, who announced his transfer on April 22, as significant contributors who are departing early despite receiving ample playing time. Reserve swingman Josh Hearlihy and backup point guard Keith Pinckney both received less than 10 minutes per game.
Walk-on Aaron Liberman has chosen to leave the program after one year.
Rarely used freshman Stanley Roberts Jr. will be removed from the roster because of a medical disqualification.
Tulane has signed five prospects for the upcoming season, all of whom have received a three-star rating from at least one scouting service. Forwards Blake Paul, Taron Oliver and Kipper Nichols combine with guards Von Julien and Kain Harris to make up the No. 72 class nationally, per 247sports.com.
The Green Wave is in the running for three-star guard Jashire Hardnett from Gulfport, Mississippi. Hardnett at one time held offers from Connecticut, Wisconsin and Georgetown. He is scheduled to visit Tulane this weekend.
Still, the roster turnover is a significant issue facing coach Ed Conroy. In the past three offseasons, Tulane has lost 16 players (at least 12 scholarship transfers).