Basketball season may be months away, but the summer is the perfect time to catch up with one of this year’s top recruits, point guard Darnell Foreman. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with Foreman about his choice to come to Penn and how his playing style will fit on the team.
Daily Pennsylvanian: What kind of school were you looking for during your recruitment and how did Penn fit that mold?
Darnell Foreman: Ultimately, I was just looking for a school that was a good fit. Good opportunities, great coaching staff that was great at getting players better. A program with a lot of tradition, a winning tradition. And then, not least, a school with a high standard of academics.
DP: What other schools were you looking at?
DF: Hartford and FDU (Fairleigh Dickinson University) at the end of my high school career.
DP: When did you visit Penn and what did you do during your visit that led you to choose Penn?
DF: I visited the week after my high school visited. I walked around, toured the campus and talked to the whole coaching staff a lot.
DP: Which of the coaches have you been in contact with the most?
DF: I’d say coach Allen. He came to my state championship game and he got in touch with my family. Right after that game, we just hit it off right there. Coach Bowman came to the game after that. It was a good effort right there.
DP: What did the coaching staff tell you about how you’re going to fit into Penn basketball next year?
DF: Just to be a leader, work for everything. There’s a lot of opportunities to just come in and play hard, give it your all and lead these guys. Whether you’re on the floor, on the bench, you can just be a leader, giving all that 100% effort down there, that toughness.
DP: What sort of skills do you think you can provide immediately off the bench for the team?
DF: Probably my defense, my attitude toward the game. The intangibles really, you know I really won’t tell what stuff goes on offense until I start working out with the guys. But my intangibles are going to be shown immediately.
DP: With the recent release of Tony Bagtas from the program, there’s definitely this need for a point guard of the future. How do you think you’d be able to fill that sort of role down the road?
DF: Definitely. It’s an opportunity. It’s a need right there and I’m willing to step up and take over that role.
DP: How would you describe yourself as a player?
DF: Very hard-working, tough, gritty, defense-first. On offense, getting into the lane and getting other guys shots, scoring when it calls for it, but overall just being a really tough player.
DP: Can you describe your senior season and what sort of role you filled during that season?
DF: Well my senior year, I had a lot of guys on my team who had their ups and downs so I had to be the guy who was stable. I had to lead them when stuff got tough, when we were in tough games I had to step up, knowing that this was my last year. I had to take over when it called for it, get guys shots when they need it, slap guys on the butt and tell them to keep playing, just being an overall leader.
DP: With Penn’s performance the past few years, a lot of people around the program are calling for a shift in coaching. Did that potential change in coaching factor into your decision at all?
DF: No not really. I know coach Allen, he’s a great coach. He had a couple of struggling years, but he’s a great coach and he’s going to get us back in shape. He’s the right guy to do it and there’s a lot of good guys in this program, great assistant coaching group. We have all the pieces to turn this right around. We’re in the business next year.
DP: Have you been in contact with any other recruits in your class talking about what it’s going to be like transitioning together?
DF: Yeah, I’ve talked to most of the guys in my class. Just in general we’re saying as soon as we get here, it’s hard work from the door. If that means staying in the gym for two to three hours, four hours, we’re going to get this done. We’re there for each other no matter what happens.
DP: Were there any areas of study in particular that stood out to you during high school?
DF: Not really. With Penn, that sort of liberal arts school you can come there and find something that you’re going to end up loving. So I’m just waiting for the opportunity to learn different things and find something new that I can catch on and grow with.
scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:100px; height:27px;" allowTransparency="true">