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Maryland Basketball Recruiting: Michigan Transfer Smotrycz Down to Three, Cassell Narrows List

A single legging? Not a great look, E.
A single legging? Not a great look, E.

With the recent departure of Mychal Parker, there's now scholarship room for both of them. So ... good timing all around, in that sense.

Let's begin with E-Trizzy, or whatever you want to call him because "Evan Smotrycz" is tiresome writing. Per CBS' Jeff Goodman, he says he's down to three, and Maryland's included.

That always seemed likely; all three have had in-home visits with him, and he's always said he plans to visit all three. None of the big competitors have been eliminated, but at least at this point we have confirmation that the interest is pretty serious. Hopefully no additions, either.

I'll say what I've always said in regards to Smo: stretch fours, particularly ones with some bulk to them, are rare and bring a rare dimension to the offense. You knew Maryland wasn't going to have only space-eaters down low, and in that sense Smotrycz, as someone who can step outside and knock down a jumper while Shaq Cleare mans the middle, fits in well with the current roster. I understand there are questions about his defense and his rebounding and his toughness, but that's the game with almost every transfer. Remember Byron Mouton, that selfish softie at Tulane? Circumstances are always different, and a second chance is often a powerful motivating force. The talent is there and the fit is there, and that's what really matters.

The other big news is that Sam Cassell Jr. has "narrowed" his already narrow list, with a final three of South Florida, Maryland, and Pittsburgh. With former McDonald's All-American Trey Zeigler transferring to Pitt I'm assuming they'll be crossed off the list, especially with the possibility that he won't have to sit out a year. So it's most likely a battle between Maryland and USF. USF assistant Eric Skeeters (yup, that's his name) is a Baltimore guy and probably has strong connections to the Cassells, but then so does Bino Ranson. I would imagine the playing time situation would be a bit more attractive at USF. But when a kid gets down to two or three, handicapping goes out the window. Just enjoy the ride.

If not Cassell, I'm not sure where else Mark Turgeon looks, if he does look anywhere else. There are plenty of other options, from Ian Baker (who isn't committed to Providence just yet) and Thaddeus Hall and Darrick Wood, but there are questions surrounding all. The finish here will be intriguing.

A final note: both players here have something in common with Alex Len. Smotrycz? Well, his name is Ukrainian. #TeamUkraine. And Cassell? Seems a big fan of Boston Market. #TeamBostonMarket