Ball State may be coming off of a 5-25 season, but they're getting many more wins on the recruiting trail. The newest Cardinal is coming into the program via transfer from Youngstown State, where he averaged twelve points and four rebounds for a Penguin squad that finished a shade under .500. He has two years left of eligibility.
Youngstown State transfer Ryan Weber (Roncalli) has committed to Ball State. Has two years remaining.— Kyle Neddenriep (@KyleNeddenriep) April 29, 2014
The 6'6" Weber, originally from Indianapolis, mentioned in the Indianapolis Star at the time of his transfer that he "really wasn't happy in Youngstown," and "was far enough away that I never really got to come home." That won't be a problem anymore, as Muncie is just a stone's throw from Indiana's capital city.
That article also mentions some pretty large schools that were interested in Weber's services. He visited Purdue and was drawing interest from Butler, Northwestern and Xavier, including some other MAC schools.
Weber really blossomed his sophomore year at YSU, going from averaging under ten minutes and two points per game as a freshman to over thirty minutes and twelve points per game as a sophomore. He led the team in both free throw percentage (85.9%) and three-point percentage (41.7%), certainly impressive numbers even on a mediocre team.
Although the Cardinals could really use him this year, Weber will be an important piece to the turnaround in Muncie. Once he becomes eligible he'll immediately start at the three or four slot alongside Zavier Turner and Jeremiah Davis, which will give the Cardinals a very talented backcourt. The Horizon League, the conference that Weber is coming from, is very similar to the MAC, so he won't need to adjust to the style of play at all.
James Whitford is starting to build a program here. It might take a few years, but the Cardinals will be near the top soon enough if Whitford can keep it rolling. Certainly getting the talent there is difficult, but Whitford will really start to see results once he develops the talent.