The college basketball fan in Ryan Daly compelled him to root around Twitter Tuesday afternoon when news broke that Delaware had named a new men’s basketball coach.
His interest was piqued when that name was familiar, Archbishop Carroll graduate and former Notre Dame assistant Martin Ingelsby. But for the 2015-16 Daily Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year, his intrigue stemmed more for his voracious appetite for all things hoops, not his status as an unattached member of the high school class of 2016.
Archbishop Carroll's Ryan Daily, the 2015-16 Daily Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year, committed to the University of Delaware Wednesday. (Times File)
That is, until the phone rang Wednesday, just hours after Ingelsby had been introduced by Delaware.
“He called and said, ‘I want you to be my first recruit at Delaware,’ and I said yes, right away,” Daly told the Daily Times Wednesday night. “He’s a former Catholic League (South Division) MVP, someone who understands Philly basketball, and I have no doubt that he’s going to do great things at Delaware. So when he popped that question, I had to do it. I had to say yes.”
Daly, the Catholic League MVP who led Carroll to the second round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament and averaged 20 points per game, has been looking for a destination since decommitting from the University of Hartford in March. He played with his AAU team, Jersey Shore Warriors, in the April open period and received offers from Holy Cross, UMBC and Niagara. He took official visits to UMBC and Mount St. Mary’s as well as an unofficial to Holy Cross.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard had long been intrigued with the University of Delaware, for reasons beyond the basketball court. He fielded interest from Ingelby’s predecessor, Monte Ross, and kept tabs on Delaware when Ross was fired and a bevy of players were granted releases to pursue transfers, though many remained with the Blue Hens.
Ingelsby, a 1997 Carroll grad, spent 13 seasons as an assistant at his alma mater Notre Dame and is getting his first shot to run a program. The significance that one of his first calls in the job went to Daly wasn’t lost on the player.
“It’s unbelievable,” Daly said. “It’s really humbling. He’s a former Notre Dame point guard, he’s been on Notre Dame’s staff for so long. And his first call as a head coach in his first job is to me. To have that interest, it’s so unbelievable. I started screaming after I got off the phone.”
Daly joins a long line of recent Carroll standouts following the Division I route, including fellow 2015-16 All-Delco Josh Sharkey (Samford). That Daly achieved resolution on his future is reason enough for celebration; that it comes on such a momentous day that represents a new beginning for the Blue Hens program is even more poignant.
“I probably got asked where I was going countless times,” Daly said. “And it wasn’t a thing where I was tired of giving answers, it’s just that it’s late May, and if you don’t know, you have to figure something out. So to have this happen so quickly, I’m so thankful he offered me.”