One coach told Ryan Conwell to expect the transfer portal to be something similar to speed dating. Interest from one school, then on to the next one.
“Schools come and go,” Conwell said. “For me, it was a little more stressful than in high school because it was a shorter time span in terms of being able to take visits and finding where you want to go. I was blessed because I had a good amount of schools contacting me, but it was a little more stressful than being recruited out of high school.”
The 6-4 Conwell, the Marion County Player of the Year out of Pike in 2022, had a pretty good idea of where he wanted to look after entering the portal from South Florida. Indiana State coach Josh Schertz recruited him out of high school, and Conwell committed to the Sycamores and officially signed Tuesday.
Conwell started 21 of 32 games for South Florida as a freshman, averaging 5.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. Two of his best games came back-to-back in February when he had 20 points against Tulane and 14 at Central Florida, shooting 8-for-13 from the 3-point line in the two games.
More basketball: Mark McFarland takes over Perry Meridian
The Bulls struggled to a 14-18 record, and coach Brian Gregory was fired after his sixth season and a 79-107 overall record. Amir Abdur-Rahim, who led Kennesaw State to the NCAA tournament, was hired to lead the Bulls in late March, but the coaching change allowed Conwell to reassess his situation.
“I feel like I’m thankful and grateful for the time I spent at South Florida,” Conwell said. “The coaching staff gave me an opportunity and threw me into the fire and allowed me to experience my first year of college basketball. At the end of the day, I feel like it went very well and I was blessed to be in the position I was in. There were definitely some ups and downs, but I feel like I grew a lot as a person and a basketball player.”
Indiana State recruited Conwell heavily in high school and pursued him again in the portal.
“That was a big benefit because I knew where they stood and that they cared for me,” Conwell said. “I knew coach Schertz as a coach and even out of high school my family and I connected well with the coaching staff. USF caught my attention at that time. But in the portal I felt like some schools would come and go and Indiana State was always high on the list the entire time. I felt like they were planning to use me as an impactful player.”
Conwell, who scored 1,083 career points at Pike and averaged 22.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals as a senior, said other schools that showed interest included Bradley, DePaul, Loyola of Chicago, Richmond and Virginia.
Indiana State, coming off a 23-13 season, was Conwell’s only visit. Proximity to home was a factor, along with his connection to Schertz and the staff.
“Coach Schertz runs a free-flowing, fast-paced offense,” Conwell said. “They are looking at me to come in and be an…
Read More: Indiana State basketball signs former Pike star Ryan Conwell 2023-04-25 23:08:44