Smotrycz wasn’t recruited by Gary Williams’ Terps or Mark Turgeon’s
"It feels great," Smotrycz said. "Obviously I'm really excited. I'm kind of relieved that I found a spot and can kind of focus on getting better and getting out there. … It's obviously a big-time program and I thought it would be a good spot right off the bat."
Said Turgeon in a news release: “He’s a stretch power forward who can really shoot the ball. He has a good feel for the game. He played a lot of minutes on a
Smotrycz’s decision to leave Michigan after a sophomore season in which he averaged 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds was a surprise to many followers of the Wolverines’ program. While he was replaced in Michigan’s starting lineup midway through the 2011-12 season by senior guard Stu Douglass, Smotrycz continued to play a significant role in averaging more than 21 minutes per game and shooting 43 percent from 3-point range for a team that shared the Big 10 regular-season championship with
“He was going to be an integral part of a Top 10 team,” said Tim McCormick, an
Smotrycz said that leaving Michigan was a "really hard decision," but a decision he felt that he needed to make in order to "develop and push myself to … get to the next level." Turgeon articulated a detailed plan for Smotrycz during his redshirt season. The face-up 4 will join a roster that will also feature small forward Jake Layman, power forwards Charles Mitchell and Damonte Dodd, and centers Shaquille Cleare and Alex Len. But Smotrycz's skill-set should be utilized immediately once the 2013-14 season tips off.
“At Maryland, from what I’ve seen on film and what the coaches have shown me, obviously in the
While McCormick thinks Smotrycz would have been a big part of Michigan’s future, landing at Maryland seems to be an ideal fit for the Reading, Mass., native. McCormick likened Smotrycz to Khris Middleton, a 6-foot-7 forward at Texas A&M who earned All-
"I'm a big fan of Mark Turgeon," McCormick said. "He is very much a defensive and toughness and rebounding coach. And those are not necessarily strengths of Evan. But I think from a developmental standpoint, that Coach Turgeon will help. Evan is a really skilled ball-player. He will take another step in his game playing for Coach Turgeon. … I think that Michigan's loss is definitely Maryland's gain."
While the basketball aspect of Smotrycz's decision was a "no-brainer," he was interested in seeing what Maryland's campus had to offer. Smotrycz arrived in Maryland on Saturday morning, ate lunch with several Terps players in Baltimore and had dinner in Washington. In between meals, Smotrycz met with the coaching staff, toured campus and bonded with Pe'Shon Howard, Sean Mosley, James Padgett and Ashton Pankey.
"They're great guys and great coaches," Smotrycz said. "Coach Turgeon has been able to take programs a long way. I was really confident in their ability. I thought they were great guys to be around."
Smotrycz’s situation at Maryland will be different than what he went through at Michigan. With the Wolverines, he was a young player waiting his turn to star on a team that made two-straight
"I think it'll be huge," he said. "It was like recruiting all over for me again. The stuff I know at 20 years old vs. 15 years old is so much different. I think being sort of the veteran on what will be a young team will definitely be a different situation for me, and I think it will be positive."