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01182014_MensBasketballvStJoe Credit: Yuzhong Qian , Yuzhong Qian

Over winter break, Penn basketball picked up a fourth commitment for its class of 2018 as forward Ryan Singer of Massanutten Military (Va.) signed on to join the Quakers next season. In an interview with the DP, Singer spoke about the recruitment process, his visit to Penn and his playing ability.

Daily Pennsylvanian: What kind of school were you looking for during your recruitment and where did Penn fit in during your early recruitment?

Ryan Singer: I wanted a school that I felt comfortable in, environment-wise. I didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere where if something happened, I would be in trouble. I also wanted to fit into a team that I felt I could belong and make an impact. And Penn gave me that impression [from] when I started talking to them to when I made my commitment.

DP: So why did you choose Penn over the other schools on your list?

RS: I chose Penn because of many reasons. Obviously, they are an Ivy School with the academics and the education. There is nothing else like it. Although basketball is why I’m going to school [and] what I want to do, to fall back on a great education and get the degree that I want to do is really attractive to me.

Also, I was really comfortable with the coaching staff. I really liked [head coach] Jerome Allen and coach [Scott] Pera, coach [Ira] Bowman, coach [Jason Polykoff], everyone was real nice. The team was very personably and I felt like I could belong. All-around , I was the most comfortable there.

DP: When did you visit Penn? How did your visit go?

RS: I visited Penn twice. I went for an unofficial visit during the week of Thanksgiving and I watched them play Niagara. I also went on my official visit the week of Jan. 4 and that was also the weekend I committed to them.

DP: What did you do on the visit outside of seeing the team play?

RS: I got to hang out with the team. I stayed with Darien Nelson-Henry, he was my guide. I came in [before] the game so I got to go through the whole routine with them and experience what it is like on a gameday. It was a big game, too, so I got to see how everything is run and put together. Also, I got to hang out with the guys off the court and away from basketball, get a feel for everyone and I had a great time.

DP: Which of the coaches have you been in contact with the most?

RS: Jason Polykoff was the coach that recruited me. I like coach Polykoff a lot. He was there for me and every question that I need. He was the one who brought me in for my official visit and he really sold Penn to me, everything I wanted to hear, he was there.

DP: What did the coaching staff tell you about where you fit into Penn basketball next season?

RS: Everyone coming in wants to play right away. They have some graduating seniors, and I understand I’m not the only guy coming in. In fact, I know some of the other players who have committed. Going in, I think I’ll have a good chance of getting some playing time as a freshman and I’m excited for that chance to come in and prove myself and prove my worthiness.

DP: Which of the other recruits have you talked with and what is the relationship like with those guys?

RS: All four of us have talked together. Mike Auger have played against each other this season since we both play in the prep league and I was actually guarding him at one point during our game. We’ve been talking and I’ve been in contact with all the recruits. We’re pretty excited about this opportunity and we’re ready to come in and make an impact right away.

DP: What are your thoughts on Penn’s performance so far this year?

RS: This past weekend was definitely a big weekend to get two big wins. There have been some ups and downs this season as with every team and I'm pleased with what can be done. I think there is a lot of upside with this team, especially with the new recruits coming in. I've seen most of them play. I'm really excited for what is ahead for us and I'm excited to be a Quaker and come in and play some basketball.

DP: How would you describe yourself as a player?

RS: I’m a 6-foot-11, 220- pound forward. I play inside and outside. I’m more of a versatile four-five. I don’t post up the entire time. I like to go outside. I like to shoot outside shots because a lot of bigs won’t guard other bigs outside and I have taken advantage of that. I have a good jump shot as well as skills inside.

My strongest attributes are my ability to run the floor faster than most big guys and my defense. I think [defense] is the strongest part of my game and I can shut down some big players.

DP: How has your season for Massanutten Military gone this season? Are you satisfied with your own and your team’s performance?

RS: Firstly, I've been playing very well. I've been starting all season and we have been playing well as a team. We are currently ranked sixth in the country until the new rankings come out next week. We got a big win over the No. 3 team in the country so hopefully we can [move up]. We're playing some great basketball as a team. I'm really happy with how we've been playing.

DP: You decided to do a postgrad year. What was the thought process behind that decision and did that change up your recruitment at all?

RS: It opened up, definitely. I'm from Denver, Colo. so a lot of my offers in high school were from west coast schools, a lot of the UC schools, Air Force. Going back east for a postgrad year really opened up a lot of options because it gave me another year to develop my game, develop my body and it got me on the radar of a bunch of east coast schools as well.

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