It didn't take Daniel Ortiz long to learn what life is like in the transfer portal.
The sharpshooting guard spent the past two seasons helping UNA turn things around on the basketball court. After this season, though, he felt like he wanted a bit more, so he put his name into a crowded portal.
To say it was overwhelming might be an understatement.
"Man, I couldn't give you a number," said the 6-foot, 187-pound guard from Shreveport, La., when asked how many calls he received. "It was crazy. It was something I've never experienced before. It was wild, man. Within a week and a half, maybe two weeks, I probably talked to over 100 coaches."
He went to work narrowing it down to six possible destinations. Making the first cut was UAB, Boston College, FIU, Tulane, Liberty and Minnesota. Recently, he took Liberty and Minnesota off the list.
Now, the work begins toward picking where he'll be for the remainder of his college career. His first visit came this past weekend to UAB, which is trying to fill at least six scholarship openings.
"It was a great visit," Ortiz said. "UAB is a great place. I enjoyed my time. They showed a lot of hospitality, not just to me but my family as well."
Ortiz was one of the top shooters in the country this past season. He was 14th nationally in 3-pointers made overall and per game. He is one of just 10 players in the country with at least 10 3-pointers in a game this season. Ortiz was 10 of 14 from 3-point territory in a win over North Florida on Jan. 28. He finished the season with 105 3-pointers and shot 40.9 percent from outside the 3-point stripe. Over his two seasons at UNA, he made 166 3-pointers.
Obviously, the addition of Ortiz on the roster could take some sting of losing Jordan "Jelly" Walker, who was third in the country in 3-pointers made per game. The green light that Walker got the past two seasons from UAB head coach Andy Kennedy is also a recruiting enticement for a great shooter.
"Most definitely," Ortiz said. "Everybody knows that AK has a history of letting guards rock out. That's definitely intriguing to a player of my caliber. That's part of what I'm looking for, as far as having the ball in my hands, having somebody who trusts me and my capabilities. You see a special player like Jelly Walker. Once a player like that leaves and thinking you can fill that role, it's definitely intriguing. It's something you got to sit down and think, 'How would this work for me?'"
Is that enough?
Ortiz said he still wants to play out the recruiting process, at least for now. He has visits planned to Tulane, Boston College, and FIU and has not set a timetable for his final decision.
"However much time it takes to make the decision is what it will take," Ortiz said. "With the portal, things change every day. The more players enter the portal, the more chance that a player will take a spot that you might want. No pressure, but if you feel like it's a team that checks all the boxes, it's definitely time to lock in on that team."
No matter what happens, though, Ortiz stresses it wasn't easy for him to leave a UNA program that took a large leap forward this season.
"Most definitely was a tough decision," Ortiz said. "If anybody knows me, I'm a loyal guy. I'm big on loyalty. Once I get a hold of it, I want to call the place home. With UNA, they are all great people. I love the coaches and respect everybody over there. And those are my brothers in the locker room for life. When it came to basketball, it just wasn't what I needed for me to get to the best of my ability and try to get to the next level. That's kind of where the pushback came, and it was time to get out."
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.