CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20: Evan Smotrycz #23 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after making a three-pointer in the first half while taking on the Duke Blue Devils during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Remember that rash of transfers that came through last week? At the time I didn't consider it likely that Maryland would add any, but I might be wrong. Meet Evan Smotrycz:
Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz lists Maryland, Colorado, Baylor, Providence and Xavier and plans on taking visits soon.— Brad Winton (@JucoRecruiting) April 2, 2012
Smotrycz is a 6-9 stretch four who played 21 minutes a game as a sophomore for a pretty solid Michigan team last season. He totalled solid numbers, at 7.5 points and nearly 5 boards a game, but what really stands out is his 44% shooting from three. With space-eaters like Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell already on-board for Maryland, adding someone like Smotrycz who can draw out the defense makes sense, especially if Maryland lands an elite penetrative guard in 2013 like Rysheed Jordan or Rashawn Powell.
His transfer came as a surprise to Wolverine fans, and was likely influenced by decreased playing time as the year went on and a highly-regarded incoming recruiting class featuring Mitch McGary, who would likely eat further into his minutes. While not my ideal run-and-jump four, he makes undeniable sense for Maryland's roster.
Unless there's some strange rule I don't know about, it seems Smotrycz would have to sit out a year before becoming eligible, at which point he'd have two years left. Scholarships are a bit tight for the Terrapins, but it's not a huge concern. With Sam Cassell Jr.'s commitment now a question mark, transfers still ranging from possible to likely, and the potential that Damonte Dodd will have to go to prep school, there's a good chance that Maryland will be able to accomodate another player, even if he's not eligible until next year.
As far as I can tell, there's no connection to Maryland here, aside from just plain making sense for both parties. A Massachusetts native, the only hometown school is Providence, but they're still working their way back to relevance for the moment. I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up at any of the schools on that list to be frank, especially with Baylor's history of successful white catch-and-shoot transfers. (Brady Heslip!)
And hey, Smotrycz is apparently a Ukrainian name. So there's an advantage we have right there. Team Ukraine.