Ryan McTamney (above, in December) committed to Ursinus College on Monday night. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
After his senior season ended on Feb. 12 with a loss to Archbishop Ryan in the Catholic League playoffs, La Salle College HS’s Ryan McTamney didn’t want to think about basketball for a while.
Finally, he was able to consider his future and the trio of schools that had been pursuing him all year long, committing to play under head coach Kevin Small at D-III Ursinus College (Pa.).
“These last couple of days I really really thought about it and just thinking about everything, I really just thought Ursinus was the right fit for me, basketball and academically,” he said.
Though Small and his staff had been heavy in their pursuit of McTamney for months--Catholic and Scranton were the other two he considered--it wasn’t just their attention that the La Salle senior noted.
It was a full-squad effort.
“The guys on the team, they were just so welcoming, they would always keep in contact with me, they actually showed up to a couple of games,” he said. “Their players were really wondering about me and I really enjoyed it and thought that was a big part of it, that they wanted me and it was really neat to actually experience that.”
A 6-foot-5, 180-pound wing, McTamney led La Salle with 16.9 ppg, garnering First Team All-Catholic League honors as the Explorers went 17-9 under head coach Joe Dempsey. An inside-out threat, McTamney is an excellent 3-point shooter off the catch who also can post up smaller guards and wings and score around the rim.
He’s the second La Salle senior headed to Ursinus, along with 6-6 forward Shane Stark. Though the two have developed a close friendship since arriving at the Wyndmoor, Pa. high school as freshman, Stark’s commitment didn’t fuel into his decision.
“It wasn’t like a big part, but it’s obviously great to play another four years with him,” McTamney said.
“I feel great about Ryan coming to Ursinus,” Stark said via text. “He was a crucial part of our success this year at La Salle, and I hope we can continue that success and much more at Ursinus.”
Also committed for Ursinus’ incoming class is 6-10 Mainland Regional (N.J.) center Jake O’Neill.
They’ll be joining a Bears squad that only had four upperclassmen on the roster this year and had three sophomores starting for Small, who will be entering his 17th year as head coach.
It's clear that Small is stockpiling plenty of length on his roster; those three starting sophomores are 6-7 Joe LoStracco (10.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg), 6-7 Remi Janicot (9.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and 6-4 point guard Brian Rafferty (9.1 ppg, 4.4 apg).
Ursinus is coming off an 11-14 (7-11 Centennial) season, its best result since 2010-11.
“Because they’re young, (Small) just said I’ve got to come in there and be ready to work and obviously just get better over the season,” McTamney said. “I know I’ve got to get better on defense and I’ve got to get better on my strength, so that’s definitely something I want to get better on over the summer so first day of practice I’m ready to go.”