Center Smith commits to Tulane

NEW ORLEANS — Tulane men’s basketball team received its second commitment of the spring when Ryan Smith announced his decision Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-11 center from Escondito, Calif., adds significant size to the Tulane roster, which lost three post players to transfer in the offseason.

Smith said he chose Tulane over offers from Colorado State, Santa Clara, San Diego and Cal State Fullerton because of the tenacity of Green Wave coach Ed Conroy on the recruiting trail.

“We played in a tournament out here and coach Conroy came to everything that I was there for,” Smith said. “He was the only one who went to all of my games and it really impressed me. Then when I came to New Orleans on my visit, it just became so clear that I really wanted to go there.”

Smith said Tulane’s coaching staff was most impressed with his rebounding skills and his energy on the floor, which manifested itself by averaging 16.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.3 blocked shots per game as a senior at Cal Lutheran High.

He joins fall signee and fellow 6-foot-11 prospect Ray Barreno for the 2013-14 season.

“I’m not expecting anything to be handed to me,” Smith said. “I’m going to fight for playing time and to do what they ask me to do.”

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