Men’s team puts Daly’s transfer in rearview mirror
MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR
On the second floor of the Bob Carpenter Center, inside the spacious office of Delaware men’s basketball Head Coach Martin Ingelsby, lies a whiteboard, just a few feet beside the 39-year-old’s desk.
The board is organized, consisting of solely the last names of every player Ingelsby plans to have on his 2018-2019 roster. But in recent weeks, those plans have changed.
No longer does Ryan Daly, the stocky but tireless guard who scored 1000 career points in two seasons at Delaware, appear on the whiteboard.
“Trying to keep moving on,” Ingelsby said with a grin.
Following his March 23 transfer from Ingelsby’s program, Daly announced last week that he’d be heading home to Philadelphia to play his final two years with St. Joseph’s. The former CAA Rookie of the year and two-time CAA all-third team member was on pace to become a top-five scorer in Delaware men’s history.
“We [were] fortunate to get him and we developed a great relationship with Ryan, really good rapport,” Ingelsby said. “He’s a kid that I’m proud of, I think really got better in our basketball program. Unfortunately he didn’t want to stick it out and decide to be a part of what we’re trying to build moving forward.”
A player who committed just a day after Ingelsby was hired to Delaware in May 2016, Daly had been synonymous with the new-look Blue Hens program following Monté Ross’ firing in March 2016. The only players who were on the Delaware roster prior to Daly’s arrival and still remain on the roster are starting forward Eric Carter, backup guard Darian Bryant and bench player Curtis Lochner.
“We’re going to be fine,” Carter, a redshirt senior who joined the program in 2013, said. “He made a decision that’s going to better him and his family from what they see and we respect it and wish him well, but we have to keep going. The train doesn’t stop, and we’re just going to keep on working as a team and collectively getting better in the offseason.”
As Daly’s name is removed from Ingelsby’s whiteboard, two new names appear: Ithiel Horton, a talented guard from Roselle Catholic High School in Vauxhall, N.J., and Matt Veretto, a 6’7’’ forward from Manchester, Conn., who Ingelsby praised as a versatile and high-character forward. Horton committed to Delaware in November and Veretto just last week.
Returning players include Carter, Ryan Allen, the reigning CAA Rookie of the year, and Kevin Anderson, a dynamic guard who missed most of his freshman year with a knee injury; role players Darian Bryant, Jacob Cushing, Chyree Walker and Collin Goss; Lochner; and walk-on Connor Rufo.
Ingelsby noted that April is a critical recruiting month for him and his staff. The Blue Hens have four open scholarships.
Carter, Allen and Anderson will carry the load next season in Daly’s absence. Allen scored just under 16 points a game last season en route to winning the top rookie honor.
“Ryan Allen, that’s my right hand man,” Anderson said. “Whenever I’m doing something, he’s doing it too. We’re stuck together at the hip a little bit. We know this is our team next year and we really have to take over a little bit.”
Anderson continues to recover from knee surgery and said he expects to be back in the court in four to five months.
Allen, meanwhile, whose right shoulder had been taped up consistently throughout this past season, had surgery to repair a “little tear in his labrum,” according to Ingelsby. Ingelsby said doctors believe the injury happened before Allen arrived at Delaware. Following surgery, the Delaware coaching staff expects Allen to be cleared to resume full basketball activities by the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall.
Should both Allen and Anderson remain healthy, their sophomore year developments will be crucial to their team’s success next season. Besides Carter, only one player on the Blue Hens roster has more than two years experience in a Delaware uniform (Curtis Lochner), and only two players on the roster have more than one year experience with the team (Darian Bryant, Jacob Cushing).
Up to 11 Delaware players –– assuming Ingelsby uses all four remaining scholarships –– will have either none or one year experience in the program.
As the lone veteran on Ingelsby’s squad, Carter has embraced the leadership role.
“I think that coming in in the summer is a huge lift because it’s not just basketball –– you have to balance academics and learn the system of college itself before the basketball court, so just trying to show them leadership and guidance and giving them a second hand off the court … I’ve bought into playing that role of almost a big brother to some of the guys, so that’s what I’ll continue to do and try to help them along the way,” Carter said.
Ingelsby praised Carter as “the best big guy in our league” (the CAA) and highlighted the Anderson-Allen combo as having the potential to be the best backcourt in the conference.
With Daly now absent from the program he steered for two rocky years, attention turns to the two rising sophomores.
“Ryan [Allen] got unbelievable experience as a freshman this year, Kevin [Anderson] did until the injury, but those guys are chomping at the bit and I grabbed them after Ryan Daly left and said ‘Hey, more shots for you guys now,” Ingelsby said.